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Decision Support underpinned by scientific knowledge

Clarifying and quantifying relationships or connections between species and aspects of their environment is a key pillar of research within SAFI. Partners are currently gathering a wide variety of data on key environmental conditions (e.g. sea surface temperature and ocean productivity) many obtained through satellite data, and historical series of biological data on commercially important species. The biological data is then set to be statistically analysed as a function of the environmental parameters available (seeking and quantifying potential relationships), to determine, whether or not they are related and quantify that relationship.

The final goal is to produce a set of indicators, which estimate biological productivity under various environmental conditions, in the present and near-future which SAFI will integrate into the Decision Support Service (DSS). As part of the analysis, confidence limits are also generated, indicating how sure we are of our predictions.

For aquaculture, SAFI will develop means to determine the best possible cage locations and near-real-time monitoring of toxic algal blooms and other environmental parameters. This will be done using case studies based on off-shore finfish/shellfish production.

For fisheries, correlation studies shall produce models to estimate abundance (fishable stock), recruitment (the future of the species), maturity (to find the spawning period), condition (feeding intensity and nutritional condition) and ecological niche assessment viability (according to climate change) for both small pelagic (European sardine) fishery and bivalves (shellfish fisheries). These models are being developed and comprehsively validated in several sites in Europe (Ireland, Spain, Portugal),and will then be deployed to other areas worldwide (such as Morocco within the framework of the SAFI project).

SAFI’s correlation studies shall ensure operators in the aquaculture  and fisheries sectors, who use the service, can be confident they are making decisions based on transparent and world-class scientific findings and knowledge. For more information on IPMA’s bivalve and fisheries research and activities within SAFI visit www.ipma.pt/en/pescas/bivalves/, or contact the IPMA team directly via email Miguel Gaspar at mbgaspar@ipma.pt

Marta Rufino (IPMA)

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