The ICES community can now view zooplankton abundances over the last 60 years though a new Operational Oceanographic Product (OOP). The service is available in the form of a widget, built into the interactive spatial facility map in the ICES data portal. It allows users to visualize the average abundances of many species of zooplankton over seasonal, annual, and decadal time frames across different regions. Data are presented in a gridded layer, with each rectangle in the grid able to display a graph that also plots a trend line and the pattern of seasonality. The product focuses mostly on the coastal northeast Atlantic.
The service, which hosts EMODnet biology data sourced from the Sir Alister Hardy foundation (SAHFOS), is one of the Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (OOPS) which are being developed as ICES moves towards making its ecosystem advice operational – defining and describing the all steps of the process that culminate in the final advice. OOPS products provide regular input of monitoring information on regional oceanography and hydrography. Part of this drive has included the recently published ecosystem overviews. This mechanism is part of ICES vision of linking data to outputs, meeting the public expectations for a modern science and advisory organization and increasing the accessibility and profile of its products.
OOPS will cover data on variables such as sea surface temperature, nutrients, salinity, and in this case, the zooplankton which are prey for small fish and which are vital to the global marine ecosystem.
The work was carried out in coordination with the EU’s EMODnet biology and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ).
Explore the map and the data.