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Map of the Week – Concentration of water body oxygen for 2012-2017 in summer

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This week (24-25 March 2021), the second workshop of “Marine Data for Aquaculture” jointly organised by EATiP, DG MARE, DG DEFIS, Copernicus Marine Service and EMODnet took place. This time around, to gather relevant expertise for the Mediterranean and Black sea basins. The objectives for this workshop were focused on exploring opportunities and applications for open source marine environmental data to support and innovate the aquaculture sector in the Mediterranean and Black seas regions. The ultimate goal is to set up a collaborative platform to help the aquaculture sector to better manage, operate and govern aquaculture farms using data tools and indicators derived from marine data.

Aquaculture is a growing industry and considered a key component of both the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Blue Growth agenda to support sustainable growth in the sector. To give an example of the size of the industry, in 2018, 1.1 million tonnes of aquatic organisms were produced in EU-27 worth EUR 3.7 billion. Four Member States produced about 70 % of the EU-27’s aquaculture output volume. Spain produced a little over one quarter (an estimated 28.2 %) of the total, followed by France (16.5 %), Italy (12.6 %) and Greece (11.7 %) [1].

One of the key discussion points in the first workshop for “Marine data for aquaculture in the North Atlantic” was the knowledge gap on the awareness of existing data services, and a particular need for user-friendly, high quality, well-documented and interoperable data [2]. Hence, in support of these workshops and pending discussions, the European Atlas of the Seas would like to contribute from a user-friendly perspective with its “Map of the Week” initiative focusing on the concentration of oxygen in the water body. Dissolved oxygen in water is crucial for aquatic life and, together with salinity and temperature, largely defines biological diversity and water quality. If the amount of dissolved oxygen drops below normal levels, water quality and marine life are impacted.

Oxygen level is therefore one of the key parameters and of extreme importance for aquaculture production. The influence of this parameter can be illustrated by the difference in level of oxygen related to the fish species that is cultivated. As an example, fish species such as Salmonids live in fast flowing and oxygen rich streams (e.g. need high quantities of oxygen). Meaning, the slightest decrease of dissolved oxygen can cause losses. At the same time species which became accustomed to slow motion of the water or stagnant water (e.g. several Cyprinids) need less oxygen and are able to tolerate short periods of oxygen deficiency [3].

Explore the Map of the Week to learn about the concentration of water body oxygen in summer.

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The data in this map are provided by EMODnet.