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Data governance, machine learning, and hackathon launch

Marine data takes centre stage this week.
Published: 24 May 2019

Data management and governance

The annual meeting of the ICES Data and Information Group (DIG) was full of exciting developments.

One of the many highlights from this year was the launch of the ICES User Handbook: Best practice for Data Management, an invaluable publication for the entire ICES science community.

The work on a data governance framework, started during last year's meeting and continued over the year, has resulted in a robust framework to guide the further development and maintenance of ICES-wide applications such as the SmartDots application, the Transparent Assessment Framework (TAF),  the acoustic database, and the trawl survey databases (DATRAS). Further areas of ICES data management are planned to be included in the framework over the coming year.

One of DIG's tasks is to ensure that ICES data management remains cutting edge and is in full accordance with the developments elsewhere in oceanographic and general data management. DIG is very happy that the highly relevant update of the ICES Data Guidelines will be done in close cooperation with MEDIN/BODC in the UK.

Machine Learning

The Working Group on Machine Learning in Marine Science (WGMLEARN) held their first meeting at the InnovOcean facility of VLIZ in Oostende, Belgium this week. Participants's presentations of participants highlighted ongoing work at the interface between computer and marine sciences but also gave a more general overview of various approaches in the field. The rest of the meeting was dedicated to the collection of literature references in an effort to create an exhaustive online database of such works, to facilitate entry into the field. This database will be the basis for an upcoming review paper that will describe past efforts and current trends in the application of machine learning for the whole ecosystem-based management of fisheries, ranging from environmental assessment to policy impact. Defining the outline of the paper allows the group to set the direction of how they should expand over the next two years.

Members of the group also particiapated in a POGO Workshop on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Biological Oceanographic Observations on machine learning in genomics, acoustics, and imaging that also took place in InnovOcean this week.

WGMLEARN co-chair Ketil Malde, along with group members Laura Uusitalo and Nils Olav Handegard are convening theme session C Machine learning in marine science at this year's ASC in September.

Open Sea Lab 2019 launch

Building on the success of last year's hackathon (WKINVITED), this year ICES have joined forces with EMODnet to participate in OpenSeaLab. In this hackathon, taking place in September, teams will use their expertise to develop novel marine and maritime applications using EMODnet, ICES and Copernicus Marine’s wealth of marine data and services.

A kick off event will inform potential participants about this year's challenges, which are based around three areas:

  • Environmental Management and Protection
  • Sustainable Blue Economy
  • Blue Society and Ocean Literacy

Neil Holdsworth, Head of ICES Data and Information, will join the kick off event to speak about what open marine data are available in Europe. All interested coders, communicators, data enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate, co-create and innovate! The kick off event will be live streamed.

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Data governance, machine learning, and hackathon launch

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