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The EMECO Western Shelf Observatory - ME5303

Description
Summary Objectives:

Following a successful Defra funded workshop on a Deep Water Observatory a decision was reached to launch a Western Shelf Observatory. This would build on the currently disparate array of repeated observations carried out in the area encompassing the western English Channel, western approaches to the shelf-edge, Celtic Seas, Irish Sea to the Malin Shelf. The primary reason for such an observatory is to generate improved knowledge about current environmental status through integration of observations. Joining up on-going and planned sustained monitoring and would also provide operational efficiencies through sharing of resources. A range of information products were identified that could be created as a result of such a coordinated effort. These proposed developments would also form a key element of an expanded European Marine Ecosystem Observatory (EMECO) that has primarily focussed upon the North Sea to date.

There was consensus that such a development would provide the UK and Europe with much needed information about the oceanic driven sources of variability that are propagated through this region. Without such information, on oceanic forcing of European shelf seas then our ability to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic driven changes in ecosystems is severely limited. The Western Shelf Observatory would be a major step towards achieving this goal.

Key Customer Purpose:

The results will be used to establish a Western Shelf Observatory as part of EMECO (European Marine Ecosystem Observatory) that would join up a range on-going UK and European sustained observing programmes and provide key information on environmental state and oceanic forcing of UK shelf-seas. Defra and partners will be able to use the outputs in relation to OSPAR commitments and the anticipated needs of the MSFD. The benefits include developing a shared vision and strategy between UK funders of sustained observations and to identify opportunities for broadening the partnership and European funding opportunities. Partners are expected to include: AFBI, Cefas, MI (Galway) with NOC, SAHFOS, POL, PML and potentially SAMS to be approached subsequently. In addition other potential partners will be identified including EA, SEPA and academic institutions with marine interests such as the University of Wales, Bangor and Liverpool University.
Objective
Summary Objectives:

Following a successful Defra funded workshop on a Deep Water Observatory a decision was reached to launch a Western Shelf Observatory. This would build on the currently disparate array of repeated observations carried out in the area encompassing the western English Channel, western approaches to the shelf-edge, Celtic Seas, Irish Sea to the Malin Shelf. The primary reason for such an observatory is to generate improved knowledge about current environmental status through integration of observations. Joining up on-going and planned sustained monitoring and would also provide operational efficiencies through sharing of resources. A range of information products were identified that could be created as a result of such a coordinated effort. These proposed developments would also form a key element of an expanded European Marine Ecosystem Observatory (EMECO) that has primarily focussed upon the North Sea to date.

There was consensus that such a development would provide the UK and Europe with much needed information about the oceanic driven sources of variability that are propagated through this region. Without such information, on oceanic forcing of European shelf seas then our ability to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic driven changes in ecosystems is severely limited. The Western Shelf Observatory would be a major step towards achieving this goal.

Key Customer Purpose:

The results will be used to establish a Western Shelf Observatory as part of EMECO (European Marine Ecosystem Observatory) that would join up a range on-going UK and European sustained observing programmes and provide key information on environmental state and oceanic forcing of UK shelf-seas. Defra and partners will be able to use the outputs in relation to OSPAR commitments and the anticipated needs of the MSFD. The benefits include developing a shared vision and strategy between UK funders of sustained observations and to identify opportunities for broadening the partnership and European funding opportunities. Partners are expected to include: AFBI, Cefas, MI (Galway) with NOC, SAHFOS, POL, PML and potentially SAMS to be approached subsequently. In addition other potential partners will be identified including EA, SEPA and academic institutions with marine interests such as the University of Wales, Bangor and Liverpool University.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : ME5303: Final Report The EMECO Western Shelf Observatory   (1783k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : Two page summary ME5303 Western Shelf Observatory   (776k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2009

To: 2011

Cost: £165,479
Contractor / Funded Organisations
CEFAS
Keywords