ShellEye providing benefit to aquaculture stakeholders
22 February 2019
Developing a water quality monitoring service can only be effective when this is meeting stakeholder interests whilst adding value to their day-to-day business.
To help shape ShellEye into such a service, a variety of shellfish farmers and related stakeholders kindly provided their feedback and suggestions during fieldwork, surveys, dedicated workshops, meetings and events.
The project focused on 4 pilot sites; St Austell Bay, Menai Straits, Morecombe Bay and Loch Ryan. The weekly bulletins included: satellite imagery of occurrences and movement of certain harmful algal blooms (HABs); expert interpretation of the bloom composition and associated risks; sea surface temperature, wind and current information. In addition, access was provided to an interactive “water quality event map” with an overview of toxin samples and harmful algal bloom events.
The invaluable comment and advice from the project and wider stakeholders has been vital in fine-tuning the bulletins to improve the information they provide and their usefulness to the shellfish industry. Feedback included confirmation that the forecasts provided matched the subsequent experiences in the field and how the majority of stakeholders found the bulletin service and access to the interactive map useful in the day-to-day management of aquaculture farms.
Overall, feedback from interested parties has been positive about the value of such a service to the industry for operational management and helping sustainable growth across the industry. The survey findings showed 80% of stakeholders confirming that they would be interested to continue receiving the ShellEye bulletin and a whopping 100% of those who provided feedback keen to continue accessing the over view map on algal toxins and Harmful Algal blooms.
Following this feedback, the ShellEye project coordinators are looking to launch this service as a trial subscription for the coming year. This trial service is aimed at providing shellfish farmers and wider stakeholders with state-of-the-art satellite information about local waters in the UK at an introductory rate of £100 per month. Should you be interested to find out if your location is included in the service and/or register then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.