Reports from IOCCG Scientific Working Groups

A major focus of the IOCCG has been the formation of specialised scientific working groups to investigate various aspects of ocean-colour technology and its applications. The end product of these working groups is usually the publication of a scientific report in the IOCCG report series.

These reports have ISSN and ISBN assignments as well as a digital object identifier (DOI) provided by OceanBestPractises (OBP). Reports are considered peer-reviewed, as each is reviewed before publication. Additionally, Volume II of the report series will be vetted by the international community via an open review period (as for the Protocol Series), for 90 days. All reports are available through the IOCCG website as well as the OBP Repository, and are in wide demand throughout the world. They have been used to provide appropriate advice to space agencies, scientists, and managers, as well as serving as a useful teaching aid for students.

IOCCG Protocol Series

The IOCCG Protocol Series includes the peer-reviewed Ocean Optics & Biogeochemistry Protocols  for Satellite Ocean Colour Sensor Validation, vetted by and for the international community, after a ~60 day review period.  The protocol documents include updated versions of the NASA Ocean Optics Protocols for Satellite Ocean Color Sensor Validation,  as well as new material. The final version of each protocol has a publication date and version number (e.g., v1.0),  as well as a digital object identifier (doi) provided by OceanBestPractises (OBP).  The protocols are available through the IOCCG website as well as the OBP Repository. Protocols will be revisited periodically to determine if enough changes have taken place to warrant a significant update, in which case a new version number will be assigned.


The IOCCG, in conjunction with the EU PRESPO Project for sustainable development of the artisanal fisheries in the Atlantic area, have developed a handbook of satellite remote sensing image interpretation, with a focus on applications for marine living resources conservation and management.

This handbook is intended as a web-based educational/training document oriented towards the interpretation of satellite images derived from data freely available (for the most part) from various space agency archives.

IOCCG White Papers

White Papers developed by IOCCG scientific groups or task forces and the Ocean Colour Radiometry Virtual Constellation (OCR-VC) are documents that concisely outline a set of recommendations to develop some aspect of ocean colour science.

Two white paper have been developed: the International Network for Sensor Inter-comparison and Uncertainty assessment for Ocean Color Radiometry (INSITU-OCR, June 2012), which gives recommendations for consistency and accuracy in developing essential climate variables from multiple missions; and the Ocean Colour System Vicarious Calibration (OC-SVC) white paper (June 2024), which sets out recommendations and requirements for a comprehensive ocean colour SVC framework for missions targeting climate and global long-term operational applications.

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