OCEANOGRAPHIC AND FISHERIES DATA AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Angola There are four separate fisheries data processing systems in operation in Angola: one system is based at the Fisheries Research Institute (IIP), one is in the Directorate of the National Fisheries (DNP), one is at the Directorate of Surveillance (DNF), and there is a system used by the Planning Office in the Ministry of Fisheries (GEP).
The DNP system has been developed through Swedish support and is based on the Swedish Baltic Sea fisheries data system. It is used for commercial fisheries statistics. The version in use in the DNP has been modified to meet local needs, but is as yet incomplete. The system enables the registration of fishing companies, catch discharges, gear and species data, registration of gear in use in the fishery. These data are available for both national, joint venture and foreign fishing vessels and companies. The system also facilitates the registration of fishing enterprises, taxes, contracts, export data and transhipment details. The analysis output is limited at present but the intention is to access and output details on quotas and TACs. Exchange rate updating will be included so that values can reflect local currency fluctuations. The DNP has three MS-Dos Windows based PCs which are as yet unlinked. A small dedicated computer network has recently been purchased. created to deal specifically with the database, with its own personnel and resources.
Angola has recognised that there needs to be a unified data system and has proposed modifying the DNP system so that more detailed analysis for stock and catch assessment can be achieved. A programme to unify the systems has been devised, and this will be done in conjunction with an upgrading of the data collection system. IIP is developing its own database for fisheries and oceanographic scientific data. A new section in IIP has been created to deal specifically with the database, with its own personnel and resources. The oceanographic data still need to be incorporated in the database. A major task will be to recover and include the historic records which span nearly 30 years.
Apart from oceanographic data collected by Angola e. g. a 30 year time series of sea surface temperature, salinity and oxygen at Lobito and other pre- and post-independence records, IIP has a comprehensive set of data from the monitoring and research programme. IIP also holds Russian data sets on the oceanography of the Angola/Benguela front and Angola Dome, while more data sets rest in Kaliningrad.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has developed and implemented an integrated Fisheries Information Management System that provides a data capture, information management and reporting system for all core information on the fisheries sector. The FIMS provides for the following modules; Species, Vessels, Factories, Fisheries, Exploitation Rights, Quotas, Payments, Landings, Logsheets and a Management Information System (MIS). This core system is designed to manage all information from and to the fishing industry. Work is also well advanced in the development of two further sub-systems: the Biological, Oceanographic and Supporting Research Module (BOSRM) and the Surveillance and Enforcement Module (SEM). The overall system will thus provide access to the full range of information available tot the Ministry, including all available historical data and international databases. The BOSRM will provide access to, and be integrated with, fisheries sector information to enable accurate and meaningful analysis and interpretation of catch information against fishery and environmental dynamics. However, delays in the implementation of BOSRM mean that there is no viable oceanographic data base available to MFMR scientists, and data are currently stored on disk and hard copy.
It is planned that all information, subject to confidentiality and security, will be made available for research and general use by government, industry, international collaborating partners and agencies through a variety of systems of access.
The system was developed using S-Designer and Powerbuilder and is implemented using Microsoft NT and SQL Server in a Windows 3.1 and 95 environment. There are four sites each with their own server networks at Windhoek (Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources HQ), Swakopmund (National Marine Information and Research Center), Walvis Bay (Inspectorate and Operations Centre) and Lüderitz (Inspectorate and Research). These four LANs are connected by a WAN through a leased line system on fibre-optic cables and all network management is from the Information Systems Division in Windhoek. The majority of hardware has been specifically purchased for the designed task (Olivetti servers and work stations) but with a view to appropriate expansion – particularly of storage and processing power.
Namibian oceanographic data holdings, pre-and post-independence, including extensive data collected during cruises of the Dr Fridtjof Nansen during the 1980s and 1990s and during cruises of R. V. Welwitschia and R. V. Matsuyama Maru (Japanese Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation), are extensive and generally of a high quality. Cruise data are augmented by data from coastal monitoring stations (Swakopmund and Lüderitz) and satellite imagery.
MCM has been using the Data General range of mini computer since 1979 for the processing of data relating to commercial catches, research samples and environmental parameters. The applications were developed in Cobol and the data stored in an Infos hierarchical database. These systems are currently being converted in order to make use of the advanced features offered by new hardware and software technology. These applications will be run on a local area network using Novel NetWare. The data are being converted to a relational database which will support the integration of common entities, such as grids, vessels and species codes, and provide better facilities for ad hoc management and research queries. The software is being developed using Borland Delphi, a fourth generation language which runs on PCs using Windows 95. The bulk of the systems relate to commercial catches from the following sectors: Demersal, Pelagic, Rock Lobster, (West Coast, South Coast and Natal), Abalone, Linefish and Netfish. Some data sets cover catches from 1978 to date. The environmental parameters (physical and chemical0 and stored in the Oceanographic Database. The issuing of vessel licences and fishing permits is handled by the Boat Registration System.
The University of Cape Town is well connected in the academic and research environments in Southern Africa. Not only does the University have a wide range of computers available, from Macs to PCs to Workstations, but it has expertise that is of world class quality. All of the University computers are connected to the Internet as well as on several local area networks on campus. The University is constantly seeking to upgrade and improve the quality of this interconnectivity so as to increase the flow of information. Through the Centre of Marine Studies and the various Departments at the University, expertise is readily available in the fields of data processing and statistics, resource assessment, management and conservation as well as environmental evaluations and oceanographic remote sensing. These skills can be applied to the problems of data and information management as well as in the interpretation, presentation and publication of the necessary data.
South Africa possesses an extremely comprehensive collection of oceanographic data; discrete, profile and time series. Most of these are available from SADCO (see below) and/or MCM. South Africa also has extensive holdings of NOAA satellite sea surface temperature data.
South African Data Centre for Oceanography (SADCO) SADCO was established as a national oceanographic data bank in the 1970s to service South Africa’s marine science community. It has subsequently developed into a regional facility. SADCO archives, extracts and manipulates oceanographic data from the southern African marine environment and provides a spectrum of professional cost-efficient and user-friendly services. It also promotes the scientific and commercial application of oceanographic data.
SADCO receives data for the area 0-70S and 30W-70E from a variety of sources including various southern African marine agencies, and World Data Center, and other international data sources by exchange or purchase.
The SADCO data base contains observations since 1850 which include inter alia the following:
Oceanographic station data for surface and serial depths, giving values of temperature, salinity, sound velocity, oxygen, nutrients etc.
Digital bathythermograph and XBT data
Surface data from voluntary observing ships (VOS) including waves, wind and weather, comprising some 3 million readings
SADCO also has access to various document information systems which enable literature searches for published oceanographic data
SADCO is guided by a Steering Committee and managed by CSIR on behalf of its sponsors which include the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, the South African Navy, CSIR, Foundation for research Development and the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine resources. Service charges are modest. SADCO could play an important role in BCLME.
Most oceanographic data collected by regional scientists/research institutions is generally available to other bona fide scientists subject to certain conditions. These conditions include inter alia appropriate acknowledgement of data ownership, a time clause to give the owner a reasonable period to analyse the data and publish research results. Oceanographic collected in international waters around southern Africa by overseas oceanographic institutes is likewise generally readily available to scientists and technicians in southern African states. Again the principals and ethics of international science and/or intellectual property rights apply. For example, SADCO receives and archives various forms of oceanographic data but can put a limited-period hold on data if requested by the collector of the data to do so. These data would then not be released to a third party during the embargo period unless authorised by the data owner, but the data could be used with other data in the data-base for averaging purposes. The present system works well.
Resource-based data are, however, in a different category and fisheries data may not be readily available outside of the organisation responsible for its collection. This practice is not peculiar to southern Africa and applies almost universally. There are two main reasons for this viz. (a) commercially sourced fisheries data contains information which may give the supplier (fisherman or fishing company) a competitive edge over rivals and (b) raw fisheries data may be regarded as strategic information by management agencies and national governments. Fisheries data are, however, generally readily available in processed form. Nevertheless the fact remains that most fisheries and oceanographic data are collected by, or at the behest of, organisations funded by national tax payers and there is a universal movement towards increased transparency and accountability of governments.
LIST OF PERSONS CONSULTED
The major part of this Overview was prepared at the University of Cape Town. It draws on input from a large number of individuals, by way of written documents (reports, publications), or from presentations at symposia and workshops (e. g. International Symposium and Workshop on Environmental Variability in the South-east Atlantic, Swakopmund, March/April 1998; First Regional Workshop on BCLME, Cape Town, July,1998) and from discussions with key role players. The persons consulted specifically for the Overview were as follows:
Dr J. Augustyn (Acting Director, MCM)
Dr L. Hutchings (Chief Specialist Scientist, MCM and Member: BCLME Management Committee)
Dr M. J. O’Toole (MFMR, and BCLME Project Coordinator)
Mr G. W. Bailey (MCM)
Dr R. G. Barlow (MCM)
Dr A. Cockcroft (MCM)
Dr R. J. M. Crawford (MCM)
Dr J. David (MCM)
Prof. J. Field (Zoology Department, UCT)
Dr V. Filipe (IIP)
Mrs P. Krohn, (Oceanography Department, UCT)
Prof. J. R. E. Lutjeharms (Oceanography Department, UCT)
Dr V. de Barros Neto (IIP)
Dr A. Pereiro (IIP/BENEFIT)
Dr S. Pillar (MCM)
Dr G. Pitcher (MCM)
Dr M. de Lourdes Sardinha (IIP)
Ms L. J. Shannon (MCM)
Prof. F. Shillington (Oceanography Department, UCT)
Mr A. P. van Dalsen (MCM)
Dr H. Verheye (MCM)
Dr H. Waldron (Oceanography Department, UCT)
Mr B. Wessels (MCM)
Drs P. Freon, P. Curie and C. Roy (ORSTOM, seconded by the French Government to work in the Benguela region 1998-2000)
In addition to the above, discussions were held with key staff of MFMR in Namibia as part of a separate contract in 1997/1998 funded by The World Bank with the purpose of developing an environmental strategy for MFMR. The principal individuals consulted during this exercise were:
Dr B. Oelofsen (Director: Resource Management MFMR)
Dr. B. van Zyl (Deputy Director: Applied Research MFMR)
Ms J. Botha (MFMR)
Mr C. Bartholomae (MFMR)
Ms A. Risser (MFMR)
Ms K. Noli-Peard (MFMR)
Mrs B. Currie (MFMR)
Mr C. Beyers (MFMR)
Mr A. Kemp (MFMR)
Dr G. Ohe (GTZ)
Dr M. F. Tejedor (seconded to MFMR by Spanish Government)
NOTES ON ANGOLAN OCEANOGRAPHIC CRUISE AND DATA REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS
Mr A. F. Pereira, a member of the scientific staff of IIP who is currently on secondment to the BENEFIT Secretariat, was commissioned to compile information about oceanographic cruises undertaken in Angola’s EEZ and to extract pertinent information from the various cruise and data reports and publications. In collaboration with IIP staff, in particular Mr V. L. L. Filipe, Mr Pereira produced a comprehensive draft document which contains a wealth of information relevant to BCLME, and which will be extremely useful for planning purposes. The following is a short comment on the available information and its potential utility.
Since 1985, the R. V. Dr Fridtjof Nansen has undertaken numerous surveys of Angola’s fish resources in collaboration with IIP. During these cruises environmental measurements (e.g. temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, plankton, currents etc) were made. Some 18 cruise reports spanning the period 1985-1998 are now available, and these contain information about the various parameters measured, and useful comments on the state of the environment by the compiler, key extracts of which are contained in Mr Pereira’s report (“pertinent comment by compiler”). Apart from the R. V. Dr Fridtjof Nansen, cruises were also undertaken by Angola’s R. V. Goa and various other research vessels – Russian, Portuguese, Cuban etc. Eleven cruise reports emanating from the R. V. Goa and nine from other vessels are available.
Since Independence, IIP scientists have authored 17 environmental scientific papers. These are mostly in Portuguese, but a number of recent articles are in English. Although it has not been possible in view of time limitations to undertake a comprehensive assessment of these publications, it is clear from the information provided by Mr Pereira that as a set they do provide a valuable addition to the literature on the Benguela ecosystem. What is also apparent is that IIP scientists, drawing on this material and their knowledge of the Angolan marine environment, will be able to make a substantial contribution to the execution of the BCLME during the implementation phase.
1 Introduction 1
2 Physical features and processes 2
2.1 Bathymetry 2
2.2 Winds 3
2.3 Upwelling and surface temperature 4
2.4 Water masses and general circulation 6
2.5 Shelf circulation 9
2.6 System boundaries, fronts and filaments 10
3 Chemistry and related processes 13
3.1 Dissolved oxygen 14
3.2 Nutrients 15
3.3 Sulphur 17
3.4 Other aspects of marine chemistry 18
4 Plankton and the foodweb 19
4.1 Phytoplankton and primary production 19