Representatives from the ICES Data Centre got busy with the demonstration of various freshly-developed tools to DIG group participants at the end of May in Copenhagen. From the display of stock assessment results and fish larvae databases to an application that provides synopses on North Atlantic climatic conditions, the array of applications will, amongst other things, eventually contribute to the Data and Information Services Plan of the ICES Strategy.
A total of five tools were displayed and detailed. In a significant improvement for the ICES community, standardized data and graphical outputs from stock evaluations will be made available to the public shortly. The egg and larvae dataset collection - a web portal of ichthyoplankton (planktonic fish eggs and larvae) survey findings across ICES areas, which was originally requested by DIG - is now set up on the ICES website. A webpage that outlines climatic conditions in the North Atlantic will follow on the back of the ICES Report on Ocean Climate Change (IROC) publication. Directly related to the work of the Working Group on Oceanic Hydrography (WGOH), this latter tool will enable the download of the most up-to-date data series by station coupled with interactive maps and graphs.
In two more developments, a quality check database through which to verify the checks made on data has been established, and the regional database RDB-FishFrame is now hosted by ICES with a steering group formed to oversee its development.
On top of the data tools, DIG also spent time getting up to speed with the relatively new practice of assigning Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) to a dataset. Attached in the same way they would be to a scientific paper or book, DOIs make reference to packaged data easier. Data can also be retrieved, meaning the information can readily be shared across the scientific community.
The significance of data collection and manipulation in all forms to ICES work was brought sharply into focus at the meeting by ICES President Paul Connolly, who gave a talk on the renewal of ICES Strategy, a plan in which one of four supporting pillars will be a Data and Information Services Plan. DIG members were asked to both contribute to the plan as well as identify activities needed to work towards ICES Candidate Goals.