Today was the second day of the MARACOOS annual meeting in Washington DC. MARACOOS is the regional component of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. The focus of the organization is to develop and sustain ocean observing and prediction based products in the Mid-Atlantic. The butterfish model that we are testing this week is made possible by the significant effort of this organization in providing both their input data and expertise. For more information on all the MARACOOS activities please visit their website here: www.maracoos.org.
Each year at this annual meeting, I learn about many of the exciting activities going on in our region. These activities are organized into themes: Maritime Safety, Ecosystem Decision Support, Water Quality, Coastal Inundation, and Offshore Wind Energy. In each of these themes we learn about the activities and needs for products and services.
In that context Greg DiDomenico, Garden State Seafood and the lead on our Butterfish project, and I had the opportunity to tell the story of this product development and evaluation as part of the Ecosystem Decision Support Panel. We thanked those that made and encouraged the partnership approach that we took, including NEFSC Cooperative Research Program and MARACOOS.
Our presentation went through the steps we all took to have the butterfish model ready for the evaluation this week. We stressed the critical need for the partnership between industry, academia and government in the development. Each group brought their own experience and expertise and the product we tested on the Karen Elizabeth this week was built on that partnership. Perhaps the most remarkable part for me was that the real-time link with the boat allowed us to include the discussion that John and Chris are having on the bridge, before they even get back to shore. We could share with everyone in the room the true sense of how this partnership is put into practice.
It is very exciting to work in this environment and all involved look forward to continuing this great partnership!