Decision Support Tools & Data

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Web GIS for tailored Decision Support

A key outcome of the SAFI initiative has been the development of a Web GIS tool, delivering products derived from state-of-the-art Earth Observation resources. Based on extensive consultations throughout the project duration, SAFI partners developed products and services initially to support aquaculture and fisheries actors, (e.g. industry, public administrations in charge of fisheries and aquaculture planning, researchers and advisors). The SAFI products and services are delivered via the SAFI decision support tool: an integrated web-GIS interface, as well as back-end processing facilities. 

The decision support service is being developed in two steps. SAFI has released the first version (v1) of the information services, available at, with version 2 (v2) proposed for September 2016. The v1 prototype allows users to consult the web-GIS in a dedicated environment (with user-specific access). A set of demonstrative products is available, and users can experiment with the basic functionalities of the tool, including panning, zooming, querying, animation and data overlay.

V2 will propose additional features such as the identification of datasets available as an interactive catalogue, the extraction of long-term time series data, the generation of user-defined information layers (e.g. customisation of the optimal location mapping with user-defined parameters), or the combination of several layers to locate optimal zoning for farms.

For the aquaculture sector, users can avail of:

•Near real-time access to environmental parameters near existing sites (e.g. temperature, potential HABs, phytoplankton concentration etc.) (v1)
·Wave forecasting for management of operations, anticipation of feeding constraints, anticipation of risk-based harvesting etc. (v2)
•Licencing support: access to long-term archives for consolidation of new applications (initial state evaluation) (v2)
•Optimal site identification considering environmental conditions (available v1, consolidation v2)
•Carrying capacity estimation of Atlantic mussel farms (see fig 1. algorithm derived from Y. Thomas et al., 2011) (v1 – experimental product)
•Effect of climate change on optimal location, especially in locations where species reach the breeding limit (v2)

For the fisheries sector, users can avail of:

•Near real-time access to environmental parameters affecting fisheries (v1)
•Estimation and forecasting of spawning period for small pelagic fisheries and bivalves, supporting sustainable management of fishery resources with adapted policies (v1 – experimental product
•Information on tuna migrating routes (v2 – experimental product)
•Estimation of yearly stock abundance and recruitment for sardines and bivalves at a regional scale (v2 – experimental product)
•Identification of small pelagic fish (European sardine), ecological niches and location of potential habitats and predicted climate change effects.


SAFI products are generated either by project partners or derived from state-of-the-art research and generated offline. These products are then automatically integrated into a web-mapping server (WMS), the open source GeoServer, utilising REST API, this supports the OGC WMS standard, consistent and inter-connectable with other WMS following the same European Standards. The user can consult the products available under the GeoServer through a web-GIS client viewer implemented using OpenLayers, ExtJS, and GeoExt. To explore the VI demo web-GIS, go to

Chloé Vincent (ACRI-ST), Declan Dunne (UCC)

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