Human impacts of the motorways of the sea


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Maritime transport plays an important role in the world trade and economics development. In Europe the “motorways on the sea” concept has been an important issue since the launch of the EU Transport white paper (EC 2001). An enclosed sea such as the Mediterranean is particularly vulnerable to ship-associated pressures due to a high-volume of shipping routes, long history of use, and sensitive shallow and deep-sea habitats. Negative impacts associated to maritime traffic include biodiversity loss, introduction of alien species, pollution, marine litter and underwater noise among others. The monitoring and characterization of the spatio-temporal patterns of marine traffic constitutes an important element for the effective management and assessment of environmental impacts of this activity.

Monitoring of real-time ship locations can be achieved through the Automated Identification System (AIS). The AIS is a VHF transmitter that broadcast the ship position, as well as additional information (eg. timestamp, speed, heading, boat type). All ocean-going commercial traffic >300 gross tons, or carrying more than 165 passengers, as well as tug/tows, are required to carry AIS transmitters (IALA 2004). In addition, the rest of the ships are able to carry on these transmitters on a voluntary basis.

In this work we present the development of an information system designed to store, manage, analyze and visualize historical AIS data based on open-source components. We analyse such data to assess and map multiple anthropogenic pressures. For example, segmented regression on speed distribution is carried out to identify and map fishing activity, whereas neighbourhood statistics and GIS methods are used to generate underwater noise maps. We will illustrate these products within the context of risk assessment on marine ecosystems at the Western Mediterranean Sea.

The information provided in this study can be incorporated into Decision Support Systems (DSS) for supporting the implementation of European and national policies for the assessment of environmental impacts and the interactions among human activities as well.

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Human impacts of the motorways of the sea

  1. 1. David March, Sonia Gómara, Joaquín Tintoré HUMAN IMPACTS OF THE MOTORWAYS OF THE SEA EGU 2014, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2. Societal needs Technological development Science-based tools INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT OF SHIP-BASED ACTIVITIES
  3. 3. SHIP-BASED ACTIVITIES: BLUE GROWTH Cruise tourism Passenger ferry Fisheries Recreational boating ShippingOil & gas
  4. 4. PRESSURES ON MARINE ECOSYSTEMS Ship-based activities have the potential to affect any of the eleven qualitative descriptors targeted by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Yatch anchor over seagrass Oil spill Overfishing E.g. Descriptors 1, 6 E.g. Descriptors 8, 9 E.g. Descriptors 3, 4
  5. 5. Fishermen complain against cruise ships mooring over fishing grounds Civil society complains against coastal development Deployment of oceanographic buoys taking into account shipping lines and fishing grounds to avoid interactions COMPETITION FOR MARITIME SPACE
  6. 6. SOCIETAL CHALLENGES Sustainable developmet Integrated Maritime Policy Stakeholders involvement MSP Directive (proposal) Ecosystem based management MSFD Directive MSFD TIMELINE2012 2020
  8. 8. MONITORING MARINE TRAFFIC WHO IS REQUIRED TO CARRY AIS? Spatio-temporal patterns of ship-based activities All ocean-going commercial traffic >300 gross tons Ferries carrying more than 165 passengers Tug & Tows EU fishing fleet > 15 m
  9. 9. DATA ACQUISITION Install your own antenna National port authorities Regional conventions (eg. HELCOM) Global providers (eg. MarineTraffic) SOCIB’s AIS antenna and spatial coverage
  10. 10. THE SCALE ALSO MATTERS Shipping intensity Recreational boat anchoring Ibiza island (NW Mediterranean) Global scale Regular lines Anchoring for few hours/days
  11. 11. DATA MANAGEMENT Data cleaning: duplicates, invalid codes, … Geospatial filters: point or track on land, … Geospatial processing: Point to Track Calculate metrics: speed, turn angle, … Data storage: spatial databases Open source geospatial technologies
  13. 13. RISK OF INTRODUCTION OF SHIP-TRANSPORTED ALIEN SPECIES Global shipping network Keller et al. 2011 Relative probability index (Chan et al. 2013) Distribution of alien species Molnar et al. 2008 + + SPATIAL MODELLING Port environmental distance Keller et al. 2011 Exponential decay function (Ban et al. 2010)
  14. 14. UNDERWATER NOISE Source levels per boat type Hatch et al. 2008 ++ Navigation time per grid cell Transmission loss function Erbe et al. 2012 TL = dB – 15 x log10 (dist) SPATIAL MODELLING Propagates cell by cell using a moving window approach (March et al. in prep)
  15. 15. FISHING BEHAVIOUR Fishing activity Define fishing and navigating states based on speed profile (‘vmstools’ package in R)
  16. 16. FISHING BEHAVIOUR Two trawlers were sighted in north Mallorca
  17. 17. FISHING BEHAVIOUR Density maps based on historical information illustrates the prevalence of fishing grounds
  18. 18. RECREATIONAL BOATING BEHAVIOUR Sailing track with different states identified (e.g., sailing, motor, moored, operations) Unsupervised algorithm using Expectation-Maximization Binary Clustering (‘EMbC ‘ package in R, Movelab)
  19. 19. APPLICATIONS: OCEANOGRAPHIC INFO ALONG TRACK Temporal profile with wave height (red) and wind speed (blue) along a 5-day track Interpolation algorithms incorporate multidimensional data using hydrographic models provided by SOCIB
  20. 20. APPLICATIONS: OIL SPILL RISK ‘Maverick Dos’ ran aground off the coast of Formentera on 15 February 2012 Web-mapping application displays traffic density together with shoreline environmental sensitivity ‘Don Pedro’ sank after leaving Ibiza harbour on 11 July 2007
  21. 21. Planning glider campaign route Marine traffic density is used by SOCIB to plan the route of underwater autonomous vehicles (AUV) APPLICATIONS: OCEANOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
  22. 22. APPLICATIONS: CUMULATIVE PRESSURES Based on Halpern et al. 2008
  23. 23. LIMITATIONS AND FURTHER WORKS Combined monitoring Improve AIS coverage Data-intensive tools Open data availability ?
  24. 24. CONCLUSIONS Automated Identification Systems and related technologies allows an unprecedented opportunity to monitor ship-based activities Data-intensive tools allow the discovery of new science-based information A better understanding of ship-based activity patterns will contribute to support the implementation of MSFD and MSP
  25. 25. David March, Sonia Gómara, Joaquín Tintoré THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Marc Torner Pau Balaguer Benjamín Casas SOCIB Data Centre Carla Murciano Joan Albaigés Rafael Sardà