Using remote sensing data to understand West African sardine fisheries

Remote sensing technologies provide the ideal platform to monitor large areas with a relatively low cost and a recent fellowship enabled Dr Ahon Jean-Baptise Kassi from CURAT to visit PML in the UK to use state-of-the-art ocean-colour remote-sensing observations, indices of phytoplankton phenology (bloom timing), and reanalysis data products of wind to improve understanding of the variability of catches of the fish species Sardinella aurita in Ivorian waters.

The Ivorian continental shelf, located within the Large Marine Ecosystem of the Gulf of Guinea, is strongly subject to anthropogenic pressures associated with increased population, unsustainable fishing practices, and global climate change. In this context, it is essential to develop and implement appropriate monitoring strategies to support sustainable management of regional fisheries and protection of the marine ecosystem.

Funded by the POGO Visiting Fellowship programme, Jean-Baptise learnt to work with the ESA Bilko module on the use of phenological metrics to monitor phytoplankton seasonality based on ocean-colour observations. He will now use Bilko lessons and tools to enrich the graduate teaching programme in Oceanography at the Université Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan (Ivory Coast).

This fellowship, which arose from connections established by the EAMNet network, has now laid the foundations for future collaborations between CURAT and PML based on common research interests on the study of climate impact on marine ecosystem resources. The results of the project are expected to contribute to improve fishery activities and support the development of economy and welfare of West African countries.

Related Information:

Centre de Recherche et d’Application en Télédétection (CURAT)

Copernicus (previously Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES))

European Space Agency

Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowships

Université Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan

The EAMNet project was partially funded by the European Commission Framework 7 Programme under Space Call SPA.2009.3.2.01 International Cooperation
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