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Publication . Article . 2015

Using remote sensing as a support to the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive in SW Portugal

Sónia Cristina; John Icely; Priscila Goela; Tomás Ángel DelValls; Alice Newton;
Open Access
Published: 01 Oct 2015

The exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of coastal countries are coming under increasing pressure from various economic sectors such as fishing, aquaculture, shipping and energy production. In Europe, there is a policy to expand the maritime economic sector without damaging the environment by ensuring that these activities comply with legally binding Directives, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). However, monitoring an extensive maritime area is a logistical and economic challenge. Remote sensing is considered one of the most cost effective, methods for providing the spatial and temporal environmental data that will be necessary for the effective implementation of the MSFD. However, there is still a concern about the uncertainties associated with remote sensed products. This study has tested how a specific satellite product can contribute to the monitoring of a MSFD Descriptor for "good environmental status" (GES). The results show that the quality of the remote sensing product Algal Pigment Index 1 (API 1) from the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) sensor of the European Space Agency for ocean colour products can be effectively validated with in situ data from three stations off the SW Iberian Peninsula. The validation results show good agreement between the MERIS API 1 and the in situ data for the two more offshore stations, with a higher coefficient of determination (R-2) of 0.79, and with lower uncertainties for the average relative percentage difference (RPD) of 24.6% and 27.9% and a root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.40 and 0.38 for Stations B and C, respectively. Near to the coast, Station A has the lowest R-2 of 0.63 and the highest uncertainties with an RPD of 112.9% and a RMSE of 1.00. It is also the station most affected by adjacency effects from the land: when the Improved Contrast between Ocean and Land processor (ICOL) is applied the R-2 increases to 0.77 and there is a 30% reduction in the uncertainties estimated by RPD. The MERIS API 1 product decreases from inshore to offshore, with higher values occurring mainly between early spring and the end of the summer, and with lower values during winter. By using the satellite images for API 1, it is possible to detect and track the development of algal blooms in coastal and marine waters, demonstrating the usefulness of remote sensing for supporting the implementation of the MSFD with respect to Descriptor 5: Eutrophication. It is probable that remote sensing will also prove to be useful for monitoring other Descriptors of the MSFD. EU (European Space Agency) [308392, 21464/08/1-0, 607325]; Portuguese FCT [FRH/BD/78354/2011, SFRH/BD/78356/2011]; Horizon 2020 AquaSpace [633476] info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Environmental science Environmental data Satellite Remote sensing (archaeology) Good Environmental Status Exclusive economic zone Submarine pipeline Marine Strategy Framework Directive Remote sensing Eutrophication


Aquatic Science, Geology, Oceanography, Ocean color remote sensing, Phytoplankton functional types, Iberian Peninsula, Coastal waters, Chlorophyll A, Multisensor approach, Environmental status, Southwest Coast, Meris, Validation, Indicator, Descriptor, Eutrophication, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, North-east Atlantic, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Ocean colour remote sensing, North-east Atlantic, Iberian coast, Indicator, Descriptor, Eutrophication

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Funded byView all
EC| AquaSpace
Ecosystem Approach to making Space for Aquaculture
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 633476
  • Funding stream: H2020 | RIA
Validated by funder
AQUA-USERS: AQUAculture USEr driven operational Remote Sensing information services
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 607325
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP1 | SPA
DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 308392
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP1 | ENV
FCT| SFRH/BD/78356/2011
  • Funder: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. (FCT)
  • Project Code: SFRH/BD/78356/2011
  • Funding stream: OE
Related to Research communities
European Marine Science Marine Environmental Science : DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status