ShellEye-DEMO: Satellite monitoring for shellfish and finfish aquaculture: Domain expanded; Enhanced resolution; Marine insurance; Other species

Lead Research Organisation: Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Department Name: Remote Sensing Group

Abstract

ShellEye-DEMO aims to translate novel satellite-informed techniques for early warning of harmful algae blooms (HABs) and microbiological risks into a unique and viable service to support the sustainability of UK aquaculture. This exploits existing research to identify certain HABs using satellite ocean colour, and the fusion of Earth observation, meteorological and in situ data to infer increased risk of E. coli.

The objectives are:

1. [D]omain expansion: to involve pilot aquaculture farms in two additional UK regions, and consultation with the largest salmon farms in Scotland, as a route to wider exploitation of the potential benefits of ShellEye's approach.

2. [E]nhanced resolution of HAB detection, from 1km to 300m, to improve precision of near-coast and near-farm HAB risk estimation (using latest Sentinel-3 satellite).

3. [M]arine insurance: to develop long-term HAB probability maps to assist in insurance risk assessment, and encourage clients to take up satellite early warning to reduce losses.

4. [O]ther types of aquaculture, using a customised version of the ShellEye methods to protect the emerging potential of offshore lobster farming.

This will be achieved through activities organised into 5 work packages: Stakeholder engagement; Enhanced HAB warning; Microbiological hazard warning for new domains and types; Quantifying HAB risk for marine insurance; and Advanced pilot trial. Partners from the insurance industry, aquaculture farms in three regions, and regulatory organisations, will contribute their time, expertise and data to support the application of our novel methods and engage in real-time trials. Outputs will comprise pilot risk-warning services to address the challenges of satellite monitoring and modelling of dynamic near-coastal environments; and a long-term HAB probability to inform the challenge of assessing insurance risk. Impact will be realised through development and protection of UK aquaculture industries, the quantification of reduced stock losses and recalls, and improved insurance risk assessment enabling lower premiums. All of which will help to boost the UK aquaculture industry and the quality of its produce, and contribute to increased economic gains and food security impacts for the UK.

Keywords: Sustainable aquaculture; shellfish; finfish; salmon; harmful algal blooms; E coli; satellite Earth observation; ocean colour; modelling of microbiological hazards.

Secured project partner stakeholders:
Sunderland Marine Insurance (SMI)
National Lobster Hatchery (NLH)
Westcountry Mussels Ltd (WCM)
Morecambe Bay Oysters
Bangor Mussel Producers Ltd
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)
Food Standards Agency (FSA)
Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB)
Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO)

Planned Impact

The expected benefits of ShellEye DEMO to stakeholders are primarily focused on:

1) Development of a cost-effective, user-friendly and timely forecasting service for use by (shell)fish farmers across the UK, using state-of-the-art satellite technology combined with meteorological data.

This will reduce uncertainty and increase forecasting capability of environmental and microbiological events, which can reduce water quality and/or cause harm to farmed (shell)fish and (shell)fish consumers. This service will provide UK farmers with access to the latest marine conditions and alert them to potential hazards so they can respond to changing environmental conditions in a proactive and informed manner. Early consideration of such environmental events by (shell)fish farmers will assist management decisions and potentially improve their economic stability and sustainability by reducing the costs of lost stock.

It is also envisaged that the service will help in improving the quantity and quality of shellfish produced in UK waters, and therefore increase the economic value of (shell)fish farming and improve long-term food security for the UK. ShellEye-DEMO will provide the opportunity to evaluate the use of the bulletin service within national risk forecasting procedures to inform regulators and industry on safe (shell)fish harvesting measures, and reduce the likelihood of costly product recalls that undermine consumer confidence.

In the long-term, the ultimate aim is to commercialise the pilot service; an ambition that relies on excellent relationships with stakeholders, a thorough understanding of stakeholder challenges and a product that is truly useful, scientifically robust and fit-for-purpose.

2) Provision of hotspot maps of areas that are prone to harmful algal blooms (HABs) to aquaculture installation planners, marine insurers, general marine spatial planners and regulatory bodies.

These maps will provide valuable information on areas that have a high risk of dense HAB events and therefore highly useful for location consultations, insurance underwriting and policy and regulation development.
ShellEye DEMO has the potential to instigate a novel commercial service for the marine insurance industry and it is expected that these maps will provide valuable information on site choice / risk and therefore, potentially reduce claims concerning HABs. In the longer-term, this could have positive ramifications for aquaculture farms using the service, through the potential risk and cost reduction of insurance premiums.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description • Novel risk maps to provide early warning and spatial maps for certain high-biomass harmful algal bloom (HAB) species were developed, using 300m resolution ocean colour data from a recently launch satellite sensor.
• We improved and automated a regular satellite-based bulletin of potential water quality risks in aquaculture areas, and carried out real-time trials to ensure these were of use to the industry.
• The Water Quality Event Map webpage allowed stakeholders to explore the recent history of official HAB sampling results for their area, overlaid on the latest satellite maps showing algal blooms.
• Automate a majority of the process for generating and disseminating graphical e-mail bulletins, enabling us to expand the number of regions which the service could cover.
• Investigate further numerical models to predict regional water quality risks to the shellfish aquaculture industry that cannot be observed from satellite ocean colour: accumulation of biotoxins and E. coli bacteria.
• Address requirements of marine insurers and their clients, by developing long-term HAB probability maps to assist in insurance risk assessment and site selection.
• Increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of the bulletin service and to develop a business case for its commercialisation.
Exploitation Route ShellEye is only just starting its next phase as a commercial service, however the bulletin trials have already proved to be successful and useful to the end-users. The initial beneficiaries are the aquaculture companies who have been involved during the pilot project trials (Westcountry Mussels, Rossmore Oysters, Bangor Mussels, Morecambe Bay Oysters, Cromarty Mussels), together with the Environment Agency who have appreciated the wider spatial context that can only be provided by satellite remote sensing.

The advances made by the project are now underpinning an operational service for advanced water quality bulletins for the wider shellfish industry. Knowledge and new technology resulting from the ShellEye project will be of use to the wider shellfish and food production industries and other aquaculture farms across the UK and Europe, who can now benefit from the procedural and technological outcomes of the pilot trials. In the UK there are over 400 shellfish and finfish aquaculture enterprises to whom we will market the service over the coming months. We trust that take up during the first full year of the subscription service will demonstrate that impact can be achieved for many end-users through the improved regional and time-critical information from satellite remote sensing. Benefits to wider society would occur through improved water quality monitoring, leading to improved shellfish food safety and increased customer confidence; and by addressing an issue of relevance to food security. Further beneficiaries include the Food Standards Agency, by the project providing advances in the monitoring of shellfish issues to improve national capability in food safety.

Such a service will fill a gap in the farmers' monitoring tool kit and provide them with the latest satellite data in an understandable and cost-effective way. Shellfish farmers are keen to have an early warning system in place to make informed decisions on how to manage operations and see this kind of technology as the future of aquaculture.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism

URL https://www.shelleye.org/
 
Description The project has created the potential for impact in the shellfish industry, by piloting a unique satellite-based water quality monitoring service. Our survey revealed that this information was found to be useful by shellfish farmers for day to day management of their farms, and by the Environment Agency for prior warning of potential events. Our prior experience with the Scottish salmon farming industry suggests that wider and far reaching impacts would happen once the service was running regularly, capturing any future high biomass blooms. As we are in the process of rolling out a commercial subscription service, we are hoping to achieve actual impact this year. Further impact has been achieved through exploitation of ShellEye developments and results in follow-on projects: a) Assessing and Mitigating risks of Harmful Algal Blooms (AMHABs), EMFF project 2018-2019 led by Univ. Exeter: the toxin modelling work that ShellEye developed, trialed and published is now being used in AMHABs to identify where aquaculture in the Southwest could/should not be expanded based on HAB risk. b) Predicting Risk and Impact of Harmful Events on the Aquaculture Sector (PRIMROSE), Interreg project 2017-2020 led by Marine Institute, Ireland: exploiting the satellite HAB detection techniques and the E. coli modelling techniques developed in ShellEye. c) Sentinel-3 satellite products for detecting Eutrophication and Harmful Algal Bloom events in the French-English Channel (S-3 EUROHAB), Interreg project 2017-2021 led by PML: exploiting the satellite HAB detection techniques developed in ShellEye.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Annual newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Annual newsletter highlighting the research and engagement achievements of the project. This edition also advertised the launch of the ShellEye subscription service.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://mailchi.mp/cc7dc0f1fa6b/shelleye-news-february-2019?e=9889454b77
 
Description Article about the ShellEye Stakeholder Survey in the Shellfish Association of Great Britain's newsletter (member only) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Article about the ShellEye Stakeholder Survey in the Shellfish Association of Great Britain's newsletter generated survey responses and requests for further information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Article in the Shellfish Association of Great Britain's newsletter (members only) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The objective of this article was to highlight the excellent research and development that had happened over the course of the project, thank the engaged stakeholders for their invaluable input and advertise the next phase of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Article on the Fishsite website 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Article on The Fish Site to promote the service and the stakeholder survey. Survey responses and requests for further information were generated from this article.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://thefishsite.com/articles/feedback-sought-for-water-quality-project
 
Description Editorial in Environmental Scientist 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A 7 page editorial in Environmental Scientist, looking at what the ShellEye project aims to do, what it has already achieved and provided an update on the bulletin service development.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.the-ies.org/sites/default/files/journals/es_feeding_nine_billion_feb_17.pdf
 
Description European Aquaculture Society Meeting Aug 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In August 2018 Dr Carly Daniels, Research and Development Manager at the National Lobster Hatchery (NLH) and ShellEye Demo partner, travelled to the European Aquaculture Society meeting to present on the NLH's engagement with ShellEye.
It provided an oppertunity to showcase how the project links with the potential emerging lobster aquaculture industry to experts from across the worlds aquaculture sector. Carly presented a talk entitled 'Novel Shellfish Aquaculture: Europoean Lobster - Environmental monitoring to inform rearing success'.This resulted in questions relating to climate change, satellite monitoring and stock enhancement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Ocean Colour Science Meeting (Lisbon, May 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented poster: "ShellEye: Satellite monitoring for early warning of water quality risks to shellfish farms". This stimulated a good deal of interaction with scientists collaborating with the aquaculture industry in many countries within and beyond Europe, and so this was excellent for dissemination of the ShellEye project and for future related initiatives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://iocs.ioccg.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/abstracts-iocs-2017-all-10may2017.pdf
 
Description Kingsbridge Creeks dinoflagellate blooms - the cause, the impact and management? (Totnes, 16 Oct. 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I gave a talk "Satellite monitoring for early warning of harmful algal blooms" about the work in ShellEye project, and how satellite data could be applied to red-tide blooms in Kingsbridge estuary, and the limitations. This was followed by broader discussions about potential routes to fund pilot studies to continue this initiative.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.southdevonaonb.org.uk/explore/walks-trails/kingsbridge-to-bowcombe-creek
 
Description Presentation at SEAFISH Aquaculture Common Issues Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Carlos Campos (CEFAS) gave a presentation: "Shellfish water quality monitoring using chemical tracers, environmental microbiology and satellite remote sensing" at the SEAFISH Aquaculture Common Issues Group, London, April 2018, including a section about the ShellEye project capabilities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.seafish.org/media/1758327/acig_april2018_shellfishwaterqualitymonitoring.pdf
 
Description Presentation to ICES Working Group on Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics (Sant Carles, Spain) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a talk: "Update on satellite techniques for monitoring for HABs", at the ICES WGHABD, April 2018, with the aim to inform the WG about several ongoing UK and European projects developing Earth observation (EO) techniques for detecting HABs, including ShellEye. A section about this presentation was included in the Annual Meeting Report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/EPDSG/2018/01%20WGHABD%20...
 
Description Presented ShellEye at Oceanology International 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact ShellEye principal Investigator, Dr Peter Miller, gave a presentation about ShellEye at Oceanology International 2018. The objective was to promote the ShellEye research and service to industry practitioners and make new contacts. There was an excellent level of interest in the research and service and additional contacts were followed up with after the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presented at public discussion event: Institution of Environmental Sciences: Deeper than Plastic 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I gave one of four talks "ShellEye: Satellite-based monitoring of harmful algal blooms and water quality for aquaculture farms" at this IES discussion meeting, Deeper than Plastic: Issues for the marine environment, exploring potential threats and opportunities for marine environments, as well as new science methodologies and innovative technologies that may reverse current negative impacts on the oceans. There followed a debate with the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.the-ies.org/events/marine-discussion-meeting
 
Description ShellEye Newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The annual newsletter is issued to the ShellEye mailing list, consisting of website registrations and mailing requests. it had a 33% open rate and 13% click rate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://mailchi.mp/6c855b3dc1d0/shelleye-news-december-2017-merry-christmas?e=dd5288513d
 
Description ShellEye Project Stakeholder Workshop (Plymouth, Mar. 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In March 2017 ShellEye invited a small group of stakeholder to Plymouth Marine Laboratory to discuss the progress of the project, requirements of the bulletin service and other issues facing the shellfish industry. Following a series of presentations about what had been achieved so far and plans for the future, a series of focused discussions were held. This workshop provided the team with invaluable insight into the challenges facing the farmers as well as the wider industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.shelleye.org/getattachment/d0226834-17a0-4eba-9bb0-24e54842408e/ShellEye_SH_Workshop_Fina...
 
Description Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) Annual Conference (London, May 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presented a talk "ShellEye project: Satellite monitoring for early warning of water quality risks to shellfish farms" at the SAGB Annual Conference, stimulating more than 15 questions from the audience from the shellfish industry during the session or afterwards at the ShellEye exhibition stand. This raised the awareness of our effort to translate research on satellite detection and model forecasting of water quality issues into a viable and beneficial service for the shellfish aquaculture industry. Some farm owners asked for further information about the service, including one in Netherlands.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.shellfish.org.uk/files/Literature/Conferences/SAGB_Conference_Programme_2017.pdf
 
Description Shellfish Association of Great Britain Annual Conference May 18 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Exhibition stand at the Shellfish Association of Great Britain to promote the service to the industry, glean industry intelligence and make connections with others in the industry who may find the ShellEye service of use to their business. A number of new contacts were engaged and followed up with after the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Shellfish Association of Great Britain newsletter article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Article published in the Shellfish Association of Great Britain's quarterly newsletter, which resulted in a boost of active website registrations. Newsletter available on request as it is a subscription publication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Stakeholder survey March 18 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact An online exploratory and feedback survey was circulated to engaged stakeholders to gain further information on the industry, challenges and opportunities relating to an aquaculture business and solicit feedback about the usefulness of the ShellEye service. Feedback was provided by farmers, regulators, food security, academia and industry bodies. This survey provided further insight to the type of water quality tools needed to run a sustainable aquaculture business, potential market positioning and additional valuable comments on the developing service. This activity helped shape the business plan for ShellEye.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Stakeholder webinar March 18 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A stakeholder webinar was held as part of the Final Science Meeting to discuss the development of the bulletin service, solicit feedback and investigate further opportunities and any added value options. Through this webinar the ShellEye team gained much additional knowledge on the industry and what features would be useful for the service. The stakeholders were walked through the various elements of the service, were given opportunities to help craft the service into something that is fit-for-purpose to the industry as well as offered a discount on the subscription price once fully operational.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.shelleye.org/News/ShellEye_Annual_Science_Meeting
 
Description Summary of Shelleye and promotion of the ShellEye Stakeholder survey in Seafish's Aquaculture Industry newsletter (March 18) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact ShellEye and the Stakeholder Survey was included in Seafish's Aquaculture Industry newsletter (March 18). This led to the generation of survey responses and requests for further information. ShellEye was also then included in the discussion at the Aquaculture Common Issues Group meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.seafish.org/media/publications/SeafishAquaculture_e-alert_16Mar2018.pdf
 
Description Telephone interviews with stakeholders 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Telephone interviews were held with key ShellEye stakeholders to gain valuable information on their business operations and feedback on the pilot bulletin service. This intel has been fed into the continued development of the ShellEye service.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017