Coastal Observing in Under-Resourced Countries

By Sian Seymour, Jethan d’Hotman, Lucie Cocquempot

A fundamental issue faced by many countries and institutes is the access to equipment and expertise to properly observe and monitor the coastal ocean. These issues are compounded by the lack of standard operating procedures or best practices in conjunction with a common misconception that high-end equipment and facilities are needed.
In an attempt to tackle these issues, an OBPS task team has been set up (TT22-01). Over the next 18 months, this task team aims to identify common and accepted best practices already used within the community for observations of physical, chemical and biological parameters of the coastal ocean, with a focus on the African continent. Identifying these practices will ultimately result in a package that is affordable to under-resourced countries, easily transportable, easy to use (i.e. can be taught to undergraduate students) and widely applicable (e.g. can be operated from a small coastal craft). The package should also require no more than a bench space and minimal supporting infrastructure.
This task team will be led by Lucie Cocquempot, coordinator of observation networks within French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) and co-chair of the EuroGOOS Scientific Advisory Board; and Jethan d’Hotman, a marine technician at the South African Environmental Observation Networks coastal node.
Not only will many under-resourced institutes and countries benefit from the outcomes of this task team, but in the long run the greater ocean observing community as a whole will benefit from increased knowledge, expertise and improved monitoring and observing methods of the world’s coastal oceans.
The process will be highly collaborative. The first three months are dedicated to an Assessment of existing standard operating procedures and best practices for coastal environments. If you have any further questions or wish to actively contribute to this work  (sharing bibliographic references, ongoing projects, or any other resources), please send an email to tt.coastalobs[at]

Click here for access to more information on the Task Team, including a more detailed outline of tasks, deliverables and timeline.