Lehanagh Pool sea site, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland (Credit: Marine Institute, Ireland)

When developing a suitable system to be used in fish farming operations, working with the stakeholders is crucial. From early on, EuroSea Work Package 6 focused on exploring the stakeholder priorities, resources, and problems. The outcome was twofold: the Essential Ocean Variable (EOV) to be monitored and predicted was determined, and the methods to bring data to the stakeholders were explored.

Each site had unique challenges. In the Mediterranean, storm Gloria resulted in massive damage to aquaculture infrastructure, the focus was therefore on predicting waves. Although waves were not included in the original proposal, a multi-purpose wave buoy able to both measure waves and other EOV’s of interest was designed for this area. The design was built on the MOTUS buoy from Aanderaa, a solution that is deployed in many different configurations around the globe. In the Mediterranean, the buoy will measure waves along with oxygen, pH, temperature and currents.

For the site along the west coast of Ireland, the focus will be on pH, temperature and oxygen. At the request of the stakeholders, total algae and conductivity sensors were added to the EXO sonde from Xylem’s YSI. A central wiper for anti-fouling reduces the number of maintenance visits to the buoy. Aanderaa current sensors will provide a complete overview of currents from surface to bottom and a weather station will also be mounted on the buoy. The MOTUS buoy from Aanderaa will host all sensors and send data to shore.

Once the buoys are deployed, the data pipeline will be constructed and data will be stored in a relational database that can be accessed from a data hub using the Erddap data server software written by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Once available in Erddap, engagement with the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service will be initiated to provide data to the central systems. Actionable real-time and predicted data will also be made available to the stakeholders to enable them to plan their operations optimally.

Further information is available from Inger Graves, Xylem.