Marine water monitoring is of particular importance from a fisheries perspective, but this is not the only driver. Data gathered can be utilised to provide an understanding of the current water quality status of local waters from eutrophication, health and ecological perspectives. It can also give an insight into environmental change, including climate change over the years.
There are particular concerns over the effects of climate variation, pollution and nutrient enrichment of coastal waters. Human activity, (for example, increased fertiliser use, effluent discharge or the burning of fossil fuels), has the potential to disturb natural background levels and modify the environment.
Monitoring marine algal populations is important for protecting fish populations, and in addition, data can be used for identifying trends and the prediction of toxic blooms.
The Fluoroprobe from BBE has been used in many such studies, such as Phytoplankton studies in the Gulf of Mexico, monitoring phytoplankton blooms in South Chile, and on North Sea ferries as part of the Ferry Box project.
Nitrate marine water monitoring is important when considering primary production and its effect on the food chain.
The MultiSys-ProPS from TriOS combines highly accurate spectral absorbance measurement with mathematical analysis algorithms to detect nitrate and other constituents in seawater without using any chemical additives.
This probe has been used on projects in the North sea, Atlantic and German Bight.
Low level soluble oil contamination in Marine environments may be detected using the OilSys-Enviroflu-HC.
In addition it has been found useful for an additional application in Marine engineering in the form of exhaust gas scrubber monitoring on-board marine vessels.
This marine water monitoring equipment has been utilised on the Shell fleet.