November 15th, 2019

Identification of the most favorable areas for fishing and aquaculture activities, based on modern techniques, is essential for a sustainable development and implementation of the Blue Growth strategy.

Nevertheless, this task has become a challenging one due to fish stocks decreasing trend and offshore general migration of the remaining ones.

This situation can trigger longer search times and, therefore, increased costs. Earth Observation data can be successfully used to raise the efficiency of fishing and aquaculture efforts.

The SkyFISH (Service for Water Quality Monitoring for Sustainable Fishing and Aquaculture in the Romanian Coastal Area) platform, developed as a Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Services (CMESM) downstream service, is a dedicated web-based service that can be used by the end-users as a decision support tool for finding the most favorable fishing zones or analyze the suitability of specific areas for aquaculture activities and monitoring of the existing ones. SkyFISH takes advantage of the wealth of data delivered under Copernicus Marine Services and other data sources. It makes use of advanced Earth Observation data analysis and web-mapping technologies in order to offer access to a wide variety of oceanographic parameters for the western basin of the Black Sea. Users can retrieve, in a simple and user-friendly way, information regarding both essential water related variables (i.e. temperature, salinity) and other contextual information (i.e. bathymetry, points of interest etc).

The core components of the service are the suitability indices for fishing and aquaculture activities, determined based on several input parameters and modeled according to habitat quality indicators for each species. The service directly addresses multiple categories of stakeholders, from individual fishermen, to mid-size and industrial fishing companies.