Pacific Marine Data and Observations Training Workshop

Copy of an article from the PI-GOOS website

Over the last decade the number of coastal and open ocean programs collecting marine environmental data in the Pacific has grown substantially. Uptake and use of the data being generated by these programs is relatively low amongst Pacific Island countries. A training workshop was therefore held in Nadi, Fiji, from 22-25 Sept 2008 with the aim of improving understanding and awareness of the data and data products that are currently available, and provide hands-on training in their use.

More than 30 technical specialists in fisheries, environment, climate and weather, from across the Pacific Islands region participated in the 4-day training course, held jointly at the Tanoa International Hotel and Fiji Meteorological Service. Training was provided by marine data specialists from the US and Australia, along with a number of Pacific regional and international organizations.

Participants gained hands-on training in a wide array of marine data and products, ranging from sea level observations from the network of gauges located on the shorelines of many Pacific Island nations, to oceanographic measurements taken by the global network of profiling floats operated under the international Argo programme.

Observations are collected to help understand the marine environment and to make more informed management decisions. Participants learned how observations can be used to warn of coral bleaching events, monitor sea level rise, and assess the risks from proposed coastal developments such as the widening of shipping channels.

Training was also provided in a number of web- and PC-based systems designed to provide easy access to a variety of important marine data.

The workshop ended with a call for the development of an online catalogue of marine data and observations, and for more targeted training on specific issues faced by countries.

A dedicated workshop page containing resources and information can be found on the PI-GOOS website.