Project update  |   13 November 2023

BiCOME attending International Ocean Colour Science Meeting 2023

This week Victor Martinez-Vicente will be at the International Ocean Colour Science Meeting 2023 in Florida where he'll be co-chairing a Breakout Workshop about marine biodiversity metrics from space. He will also be presenting a poster on BiCOME and BOOMS project work.

The details of both sessions are below:

Breakout Workshop


Priority list of marine biodiversity metrics to observe from space

Thursday 16th Nov: 2.30-5pm

Co-Chairs: Victor Martinez Vicente; Frank Muller-Karger; Alice Soccodato; Emanuele Organelli


Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) are a fundamental framework to develop time series and maps of interoperable physical, biological and ecological observations. From these, Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV), which include specific indicators for different levels of the ecosystem, have been developed and are useful to inform policy and advance biodiversity and ecosystem research. There is an expectation that EOVs and EBVs can serve as indicators to measure progress toward sustainable development and biological diversity targets of international agreements (i.e. the Global Biodiversity Framework or GBF of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Sustainable Development Goals, the UNFCCC). The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (The Ocean Decade) is an opportunity to advance these observations. Marine Life 2030 is a Program of the Ocean Decade that helps highlight relevant indicator work. The aim of the workshop is to advance the use of remote sensing products to generate EOV and EBV products, and specifically to identify practical indicators to develop for national and international use. Objectives: 1) Identify the remote sensing products relevant to generate EOV, EBV, and indicators 2) To discuss and produce a preliminary ranked list of remote sensing products and requirements 3) To highlight gaps and possible EOV/EBV that could be developed in the future.
 Click here to access the interactive workshop PADLET - more information will be given out to attendees on how to access.

Poster session


Satellite ocean colour to inform Essential Biodiversity Variables (EVB) in the context of climate change

Session 4: Thursday 16th Nov: 9.30-11am

V. Martinez-Vicente1*, T. Jackson1,2, D. Clewley1 , D. Raitsos3 , S. Darmaraki3 , J. Fernandes4 , L. Barille5 , P. Gernez5 , B. Davies5 , D. Traganos6 , S. Sathyendranath1


Increasing pressure on nature due to anthropogenic drivers is leading to a reduction of global biodiversity and its associated benefits at the planetary scale. In coastal and open ocean ecosystems, the primary direct factors contributing to biodiversity loss include fishing, shipping, spatial competition, pollution, and their interplay with climate change.. These drivers have accelerated in the last 50 years (IPBES, 2019) and they are predicted to continue (Leclère et al, 2020), despite international efforts in the last decades (Convention on Biodiversity, CBD, Aichi targets) and renewed efforts (Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework). To guide further action, it is therefore urgent and vital to develop “fit-for-purpose” observation tools from existing remote sensing plaƞorms to guide needed actions to achieve these objectives. These observations should be capable of assessing and monitoring how the community structure and function of coastal ecosystems will respond to the anthropogenic and natural drivers in a changing climate. We present progress on two projects supported by the European Space Agency (ESA): Biodiversity in the Open Ocean: Mapping, Monitoring and Modelling (BOOMS, ) and Biodiversity of the Coastal Ocean: Monitoring with Earth Observation (BiCOME, ). These projects explore satellite ocean colour observations to derive a wide range of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV) in intertidal, subtidal and pelagic (coastal and oceanic) ecosystems. The approach is to test conventional and advanced Earth Observation algorithms to assess their ability to retrieve EBV at community and ecosystem level. This includes the exploration of its use for achieving the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty objectives of protecting 30% of the open sea areas by 2030 (BBNJ 30x30). In coastal intertidal environments the development of seagrass algorithms and their application to explore taxonomic class specific phenology. The results will feed into a roadmap informing the Space Agencies about future algorithms and datasets development needs.

1 Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK; *
2 EUMETSAT, Germany
3 NKUA, Greece
4 AZTI, Spain
5 U. Nantes, France
6 DLR, Germany