On 15 and 16 June 2017, more than 70 data enthusiasts came to Heraklion, Crete, to participate in the RDA Europe-BlueBRIDGE datathon for fisheries and aquaculture. The event was kindly hosted by the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (IMBBC/HCMR) and allowed participants to brainstorm on three main challenges:

  • Developing a holistic approach to spatial planning for marine protected areas based on knowledge transfer and integration
  • Assessing new fisheries and aquaculture activities and mainstreaming environmental and socio-economic indicators
  • Incorporating socio-economic and environmental data in aquaculture assessment, strategic planning and performance analysis

After a first introductory session chaired by Yannis Ioannidis, President and Gen. Director, Athena RIC, and Professor of Informatics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, six initiatives, including EMODnet, the RDA Geospatial Interest Group and Fisheries Data Interoperability Working Group, LifeWatchGreece, the PHYSIS project and BlueBRIDGE presented their tools and datasets. All the presentations are available here.

Copernicus, EMODnet, BlueBRIDGE, FAO, Eurostat, Natura2000 were among the relevant datasets that were made accessible through the BlueBRIDGE e-infrastructure. The participants formed eight working teams, registered to the Virtual Research Environment set up by BlueBRIDGE for the datathon and started brainstorming how to exploit the datasets and the provided tools.

On the second day, the working teams presented their idea to the Datathon evaluation committee. Three teams have been awarded.

The Datathon was a unique occasion to stimulate an interesting debate on the different datasets and to fuel new thinking in the holistic analysis of satellite, environmental, biological and socio-economic data and the interactions between fisheries, aquaculture and the marine spatial planning.

But it doesn’t stop there: the datathon allowed BlueBRIDGE to strengthen the collaboration with the Research Data Alliance initiative and with EMODnet, the European Marine Observation and Data Network and to establish new synergies with LifeWatchGreece and the Physis project.

The collaboration went a lot beyond as during the datathon preparation phase the different initiatives worked together to integrate their datasets in the BlueBRIDGE infrastructure. This work allowed BlueBRIDGE to enhance its offer and helped all the other initiatives to raise awareness to their data and services offer attracting new users. 

As a result of this work chemical and physical observed ocean variables (e.g. apparent and dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, mole concentration, salinity, silicate, and many more) from the Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring System, the World Ocean Atlas, and other international initiatives are accessible easily, either via standard protocols or via a portal, and with a unique account together with biological and ecological datasets distributed by the Global Biogeographic Information System and the Global Biodiversity Facility, scientific and technical information about the status of fish stocks and fisheries (covering more than 90% of the global fisheries activities world-wide), anonymised information about production and productivity of aquaculture companies. The spectrum of the datasets accessible is even larger thanks to the collaboration with EMODnet (bathymetric survey data, digital terrain model for European sea regions), FAOStat service (food and agriculture data for over 245 countries from 1961 to the most recent years), Eurostat (agricultural and economical indicators), Natura2000 (protected areas and habitats), EMODNET Seabed Habitat (classified habitat descriptors), World Database of Protected Areas (global spatial dataset of terrestrial and marine protected areas), and many others. 



Datathon presentations, click here.

Working team presentations, click here.

Photo Gallery click here and here https://flic.kr/s/aHskYvNjnT