On the 3rd and 4th of February (2023) Wageningen Marine Research is organising the hackathon 'ForeSea the Future Hack’. Especially for this hackathon WMR is offering access to a unique, never-before-compiled dataset on the ecology and fisheries of the North Sea. In this interview Chiefs Data Eleni Melis and Gerben IJntema give you an insight of what to expect.
The four focus areas for the data for the hackathon are the following:
- Abiotic – for instance Chlorophyll and Sea surface temperature
- Biological – for instance Contextual Data, e.g. Predator (marine mammals + birds) distribution
- Fish Data
- Traits such as Body shape, maturation etc.
- Survey data (that sample the North Sea to get a feeling for the distribution and presence of the fish)
- Fisheries & Economic
- Data Landing data, and
- Basic oil price time series.
Eleni: “We will be using satellite data and research sample data to provide measurements on sea surface temperatures, chlorophyll concentration, pH and other relevant indicators. We will also include important open sources such as the Biotic database, which contains information on over 40 biological trait categories on selected benthic species (benthic fauna living in or on the seafloor). For biological characteristics of North Sea fish, we will provide a large data set on things like body shape, fin type, maturation, biogeography, diet type, trophic level and offspring size. Part of this data is actual survey data, which we collect ourselves, as part of an international research effort. For instance, we sample the North Sea twice each year for a wide range of fish. We have been doing this for a few decades, so it also gives information on distribution.”
Gerben: “Using data from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) and other survey data, we can also look into parameters such as absolute and relative catch numbers (e.g. Catch per Unit of Effort for 1 Hour of Fishing), fishing costs and important trade and economic information, like landing data (what fish, how much, which fish, where is it from), but also, for instance, basic time series for oil prizes. There are of course also privacy concerns that we need to take into account. At some point such data becomes very sensitive, both commercially and from a privacy perspective. There is some data that we handle as a research institute, but we are not at liberty to share this data with third parties. With regards to the hackathon however, there is plenty of data to go around. We will have to manage our time wisely and focus on data that is easily given access to and will be around post-hackathon, too”.