Moana Project at Open Oceans Aquaculture Symposium 2019

This week the Open Oceans Aquaculture Symposium 2019, organised by Cawthron Institute, is being held in Nelson, New Zealand.

MetService & MetOcean Solutions’ Head of Research Partnerships Prof Moninya Roughan presented the Moana Project, a national ocean modelling system that is being developed over the next five years.

The Moana Project will greatly advance understanding of marine heatwaves, ocean circulation, and connectivity enabling better protection and management of  the marine environment and its resources.

Prof. Roughan says the comprehensive understanding of our marine environment and the increased capability in ocean hydrodynamic observing and modelling will help us evaluate threats and better manage fisheries and aquaculture, including offshore marine farming in challenging and exposed waters.

“This information is vital, as raising sea temperatures are directly threatening our kiamoana. We’ll shed new light on how to safeguard the sustainability of our blue economy and enable informed evidence-based decision making across a whole range of economic, environmental and social applications,” says Prof. Roughan.

The Moana Project, led by Prof. Roughan, is a cross-institutional programme conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together seafood sector data, Te Ao Māori knowledge, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.

The project, launched last week (click here for more information), will revolutionise ocean data collection with low-cost smart ocean sensors to be deployed throughout NZ’s Exclusive Economic Zone supported by the seafood sector. The data will be ingested into data assimilating ocean prediction models, leading to an open-access nationwide Ocean Analysis and Prediction System, powered by MetOcean Solutions. Real-time observations and high-resolution operational forecasts will be available to end-users via smart tools, such as MetOceanView, an online platform to access ocean weather information for a range of marine operators all over the world.

MetOceanView, an online platform for end-users to access ocean weather information. (Image from )

MetOceanView, an online platform for end-users to access ocean weather information. (Image from

“This disruptive technology approach is an exemplar of the benefits of partnering with end users to collect and return research quality datasets that are relevant for industry needs,” highlights Prof. Roughan. “By providing a more complete picture of ocean temperatures, circulation and dynamics, and the relationships with fishery recruitment variability, we will underpin operational efficiencies, risk mitigation and economic growth for NZ’s seafood sector ensuring long-term sustainability.”

The Symposium, which is being held on 5-7th August, has as its theme ‘Unlocking the potential of our oceans’, discussing open ocean aquaculture as New Zealand’s newest and most challenging frontier. The event gathers specialists and industry leaders to lift the lid on how to meet this challenge through state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable technologies and world class science. Find out more at

For more information about the Moana Project, visit the website: