A CSA funded project under GEO Agriculture Task AG-06-02
The IOCCG was one of the co-sponsors for the SAFARI Project, which was developed under the umbrella of GEO (Group on Earth Observations) to address GEO Task Number AG-06-02. The Canadian Space Agency was the primary sponsor of the project, and other co-sponsors included GEO and the DFO Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada.
The SAFARI project aimed to accelerate the pace of assimilation of Earth observation data into fisheries research and ecosystem-based fisheries management on a world scale (see article on Applications of remote sensing in fisheries and aquaculture published in by GEO in “The Full Picture”).
Through the SAFARI Project, the IOCCG published a monograph on Applications of Remote Sensing in Fisheries and Aquaculture (IOCCG Report 8), an outcome of an international workshop held at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (26-28 March, 2008). The SAFARI Project also helped to build capacity on a global scale at the science level and the operational level through information sessions, a SAFARI symposium and training course, thus facilitating the application of rapidly evolving satellite technology to fisheries management questions.
The main components of the SAFARI Project were:
- International workshop on Enhanced Utilization of Earth Observations in Fisheries and Aquaculture (26-28 March, 2008, Canada).
- Canadian remote-sensing information session (13 March 2009, Bedford Institute of Oceanography).
- IOCCG Monograph on Applications of Remote Sensing in Fisheries and Aquaculture – published by the IOCCG in 2009
- International Symposium on Remote Sensing and Fisheries (15-17 February 2010, Kochi, India).
Earth observation has a great deal of potential to benefit society under activities covered generally under the heading Fisheries and Aquaculture. Various EO initiatives related to fisheries have started outside the umbrella of GEO, so it was useful, under GEO Task Number AG-06-02, to coordinate these at the international scale, and add to their value through synergy.
Further, the international consensus to follow ecosystem-based management raises the imperative to design and implement a suite of ecological indicators with a view to detecting change in the ocean ecosystem should it occur in response to perturbations, for example by climate change or by overfishing. Such indicators would also be responsive to seasonal and inter-annual changes in the ecosystem, and thus be of use to fisheries research and management. Because of its high resolution in space and time, and low incremental cost, EO by remote sensing will be of the utmost importance in this regard.