The EU-funded ODYSSEA Project will launch North Africa’s first fully operational sea observatory in Morocco’s Al-Hoceima National Park.
ODYSSEA is in advanced stages of developing, operating and demonstrating an interoperable and cost-effective platform that fully integrates networks of observing and forecasting systems across the Mediterranean basin, addressing both the open sea and the coastal zone.
ODYSSEA novel instrumentation systems have been built and the first glider mission in the North Aegean trench, Greece was completed collecting environmental data from surface to 750 meters depth. Another mission will be launched at its Morocco observatory at Al-Hoceima, operated by project partner Association for Integrated Resource Management (AGIR).
Developed by ODYSSEA partner ALSEAMAR, the SeaExplorer underwater glider is an autonomous sensing platform designed to collect water column data with wide spatio-temporal coverage.
The two gliders developed in the context of the ODYSSEA Project carry three sets of cutting-edge sensor payloads, designed to optimize the monitoring capacity of observatories’ networks.
The launch of both gliders will enable ODYSSEA to provide information from the southern Mediterranean and eventually to develop valuable services for local communities and the Blue Economy sector.
The glider, deployed in Morocco will be used for documenting and mapping sea mammal populations, sonar ping echo, maritime traffic, health and conditions of marine habitats, human noise, and carrying out basic Environmental Protection Engineering (EPE) studies.
Houssine Nibani, AGIR’s President, said: “The platform will enable us to close the gap between the Northern and Southern Mediterranean shore.”