The team of the EU-funded ODYSSEA project’s Moroccan partner, the Association for Integrated Resource Management, AGIR, headed by Houssine Nibani, together with ODYSSEA project coordinator Georgios Sylaios, presented ODYSSEA and its Al Hoceima Marine Observatory at the workshop of the 9th General Assembly of the Mediterranean Operation Network for the Global Ocean Observing System (MONGOOS).
The event was held online on 24-26 November 2020, with about 80 participants from the scientific and research community, NGO sector, public administration and industry.
The workshop was titled “New ocean observation approaches for a blue Mediterranean Sea: physical and biogeochemical systems, data and model assimilation,” and the ODYSSEA team took part in a session on “Physical and biogeochemical approaches for integrated observing systems”.
The AGIR team and Georgios Sylaios emphasised that ODYSSEA’s Al Hoceima observatory contributes to “North/South exchanges for the development of a Blue economy” through the sharing of end-user services, at the same time that it aims to consolidate the marine science research in Morocco and “provide new information to fill the data gap in this area of the Moroccan Mediterranean Sea for many maritime purposes and end-users’ services”.
The Al Hoceima observatory is ODYSSEA’s second such accomplishment after the successful launching of an observatory glider in Greece, and is serving as a “powerful autonomous detection platform designed to collect data on the water column from 0 to 700 m, with a wide space-time coverage,” Sylaios told participants at the workshop. It is carrying three sets of advanced sensors designed to optimise its monitoring capacity, providing real-time data on physical, chemical, biological and other environmental parameters, and is studying trends and impacts of climate change and marine pollution in the Alboran Sea and on its marine ecosystems, Nibani said.
The ODYSSEA team put the Al Hoceima observatory in the context of the ODYSSEA project’s overall aim of developing, operating and demonstrating an interoperable and cost-effective platform that fully integrates networks of observatories and forecasting systems across the Mediterranean, in both the open sea and coastal zones.