EASYCO aims to build a Polycentric Infrastructure for Operational Ocean Modelling in the whole Atlantic Space joining capacities from all the 5 countries to forecast hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry at the regional scale using grid sizes of a few km’s.
EASYCO is a transversal project producing results for a wide range of users, including Navigation Safety, Fisheries, Aquaculture, Coastal Management and Meteorology. Direct end-users are institutions requiring results at the regional scale and indirect end-users are all the institutions requiring information at the local scale - e.g. Coastal managers, fish farmers, ports, water companies, water authorities - usually provided by SME’s.
EASYCO builds on the successful experience gathered within the project EASY focused on currents and waves in the Iberian zone, widening its scope through the contribution of extra teams from France, Spain, Ireland and UK. Its specific objectives are:
- Integrating operational forecasts of currents, waves and meteorology over the whole Atlantic Space,
- Integrating Biogeochimical models developed in the Atlantic Space for producing operational Biogeochimical forecasts over the whole area,
- Setting up fisheries management models based on the biogeochimical data and on the fishing effort,
- Setting up a filter feeders model able to relate growth, carrying capacity, primary production and circulation models,
- Setting up a users-community grouping institutions needing information on currents and biological properties for their daily activities, with special emphasis on SME’s.
The architecture proposed for EASYCO is based on the following assumptions:
- Nowcast and Forecast simulations in the ocean are achievable and can have effective end-users,
- Components required for the simulation tools exist already and are being improved within the framework of National and European research programs – with special emphasis for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Program,
- GMES is promoting “Core Services” at the European Level, e.g. MyOcean Project. “Downstream Services” must be coordinated at the regional level, with the INTERREG programme being particularly suitable for that.
- Most end-users are interested on local scale problems - e.g. bathing water management, eutrophication, Port & harbours management and safety, coastal erosion – requiring a regional solution embedded into the General solution provided by the Core Service,
- Biogeochimical models coupled to circulation models can be run operationally,
- Fisheries’ modelling is evolving for simulating concentrations of larvae and fish as a function of physical conditions and food availability (hydrodynamic and Biogeochimical model results),
- Filter feeders growth and carrying capacity can be assessed using biogeochemical model results.
- A major limitation for SME’s activity in coastal systems is the specification of Open Sea Boundary conditions. This limitation will be overcome using EASYCO results.
Products & Innovation
The project is designed to be innovative building on the knowledge developed by partners in former research projects. The products of the project have a transversal interest contributing to all activities ocean related, especially for: navigation, accidental marine pollution, fisheries, aquaculture, coastal management and tourism.
The innovation is achieved by combining sector partner’s knowledge to generate an integrated knowledge system able to provide answers to managers and to raise public awareness. This system will simplify the way that scientists and SME’s access information stimulating economical development and the generation of new knowledge helping to keep the system up to date.
EASYCO will enhance the Polycentric Infrastructure set up within the project EASY enlarging its geographical coverage and technical scope. As in EASY, two types of products will be produced:
- A collection of public domain models,
- Integrated data tools, including ocean forecasts.
The project will have 6 large scale studies and 8 local scale studies. The former will be managed by at least 2 countries/teams and latter will be managed by a local team in close cooperation with the end-users. The Celtic Sea, Biscay Bay, Portuguese Iberian Sea, Galicia, Azores and the English Channel are the large scale case studies. Small scale studies will be nested in these ones for: Adour estuary, Vilaine estuary, Bantry Bay, Rias Baixas, Ria Arousa, Tagus estuary, Pico/Faial channel in the Azores and Subregions of the English Channel.
The methodology was designed having in mind the partner’s experience and the intended products which require (1) models and model integration, (2) downscaling and ocean forecast activities and (3) data integration and dissemination. In the ocean several tasks have to be carried out involving: ocean circulation, wave propagation, Biogeochimical, filter feeders and fisheries simulations. In the atmosphere the major activity is weather forecasting (already done regularly).
The partners have experience in all those fields and most partners in more than one field. The tasks were allocated to each partner taking advantage of their best competences, minimizing overlaps and assuring the required geographical coverage.
With this in mind the project has been organized into the 7 Activities: (1) Regional studies, (2) Local studies, (3) Biogeochimical modelling, (4) Shellfish modelling, (5) Fish Modelling, (6) Technological tools and (7) Dissemination.