On June 28th and 29th 2021, the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV) hosted the First I/ITAPINA (Imagine/Imaging the Atlantic – a Pelagic Imaging Network Approach) workshop. I/ITAPINA is a networking activity, implemented under the umbrella of the AA-MARINET Joint Pilot Action and supported by the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. It aims to build the All-Atlantic Pelagic imaging community and to develop a framework for operational marine ecosystem monitoring with pelagic imaging techniques. Such an operational pelagic monitoring system is needed to visualize the distribution of plankton, nekton, detritus and plastics in near-real time, which will enable improved ecosystem predictions and management.
This Joint Pilot Action is led by Dr. Rainer Kiko (LOV, France), who presented the goals of the workshop at the beginning of the first day. Thereafter partners from Brazil, South Africa, Germany, UK, France and USA had the opportunity to present ongoing imaging activities in their respective countries and from projects, such as AtlantEco and TRIATLAS, covering existing infrastructures, data sources and needs.
Photo 1: Rubens M. Lopes (University of São Paulo, Brazil) presenting the research from MISSION ATLANTIC WPX leader Dr Lohengrin Fernandes who studies the vertical distribution of zooplankton using the FlowCam and LOKI.
On the second day, the workshop focused on instrument development and the development of data analysis pipelines. Experts from several organizations presented the instruments such as the PlanktoScope, Minions, the Underwater Vision Profiler 6, the Zooglider and Holographic imaging. Image processing and classification tools such as ECOTAXA, MorphoCut & MorphoCluster, Real Time classification approaches were presented and the plans to develop a Pelagic Size Structure database discussed. Capacity development for pelagic imaging was another major point discussed during the workshop, including a presentation by François Michonneau about “The Carpentries” organization that conducts workshops globally to boost data processing skills of students and researchers.
The sessions of each day were followed by a general discussion where speakers and in total 200 attendees had the chance to interact and share knowledge.
Picture 2: Instruments operated by the attendants of the workshop. Numbers in the top left indicate the workshop attendees per instrument.
Please contact Dr. Rainer Kiko (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you would like to be part of the I/ITAPINA network.