MetOcean Solutions will be at the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society Annual Conference in Napier this week.
At the conference, MetOcean Solutions Project Manager Dr Brett Beamsley will present 'Near real-time forecasting of contamination risks to shellfish harvests and beaches' in the ‘Innovating through Technology’ session. This talk presents results of a research program involving Cawthron, NIWA and Metocean Solutions that contributes to the National Science Challenges through the Sustainable Seas – Valuable Seas research program. The goal of the project is to develop and supply near real-time forecasts of coastal water quality by combining catchment models with a high-resolution coastal hydrodynamic model to forecast contamination risk. Understanding the risk profile for beaches and aquaculture areas will allow better management of these valuable assets, leading to safer recreational use and increased productivity respectively.
In the ‘Special Session: Marine Biosecurity on the Frontline’, Brett will present 'Understanding the spread of nonindigenous species', showing MetOceanTrack, an interactive application that has been developed with the Ministry for Primary Industry to model the potential spread of an organism or contaminant around the coastline of New Zealand. The application integrates a particle tracking model that simulates an array of biological responses (die off, life stages, etc.) within both 3-dimensional regional and local scale hydrodynamics, represented by a 10-year hindcast.
In addition, Oceanographer Dr Sarah Gardiner will present ‘Habitat mapping for the Waikato Region Coastal Marine Area: Bathymetry and substrate type’ in the ‘State of the Marine Environment’ session. Effective management of coastal resources relies on an understanding of the state of, and the impact of pressures on, the coastal marine area. This study summarises the state of knowledge of seabed habitats within the Hauraki Gulf and the comparatively sparsely studied Waikato Coastal Marine Area west coast, to provide a single habitat and bathymetry resource for the entire Waikato coast (east and west). The bathymetric and substrate data have been used to identify what type of ecological communities are likely to be present, especially ecologically valuable areas.
The conference, which is being held 3-5 July at the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre, has as its theme ‘Weaving the Strands' - drawing together data, disciplines, and perspectives to tell the New Zealand marine story.