Webinar Report: Reactivation of the Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa


There is a growing need for a wide range of ocean data and information in Africa - covering physical, biological, meteorological, geological, and chemical aspects of coastal and marine science. The Global Ocean Science Report, 2020 indicated that although the countries in the region surveyed regularly and collect some amount of the various data types, none has the capacity to generate adequate data for optimal management of its coastal and marine environments. Moreover, in most the countries, data collection is regularly, duplicated and existing datasets not shared, or other relevant sectors and agencies may not be aware of their existence. There is therefore need share data across countries to help mitigate the paucity of data and information.

Multiple reports and consortia have articulated the need for improved access to data and information, to facilitate better understanding and management of the marine environment in the region. More recently, in the regional decade consultations held in January 2021 in Nairobi, data was a key issue in the discussions. Specifically, five issues were raised:

  1. Need for an improved focus on user driven data;
  2. Challenges in data sharing related to a lack of common platforms, or incompatible metadata and data formats
  3. Lack of standardized policies in relation to open access data;
  4. Technical capacity and resource limitations; and
  5. Lack of trust between organizations to share data.

 Download the full report here:

Global Warming Drove a Deadly Burst of Indian Ocean Tropical Storms

Global warming supercharged one of the most destructive tropical storm seasons on record in the South Indian Ocean, an international science team said on Monday.

In a new study, the researchers focused on deadly rain and flooding from five storms that raked Madagascar and southeastern Africa in quick succession during February and March 2022.

The research by World Weather Attribution showed that human-caused global warming intensified the rain from the tropical systems, and makes such damaging storms in the vulnerable region more likely. The storms killed at least 310 people, destroyed more than 45,000 homes and displaced about half a million people. 

The 2021-2022 season in the South Indian Ocean (Nov. 15, 2021 to April 30, 2022), especially February, was “one of the most active on record by most metrics,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s global tropical storm database. 

Read More here .

The African Conference on Priority Setting & Partnership Development for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development


The African Conference on Priority Setting & Partnership Development for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development was a huge success!

The Launching of the Ocean Decade Africa Roadmap which sets out nine priority areas for the Decade in the Region catalyzes partnerships in the co-design and co-development of Decade programmes and projects.



Watch a media feature for the Conference here: https://youtu.be/KOIlKJJkxOQ


Turbulence from spawning fish keeps a healthy circulation in coastal waters

A new study has shown how fish influence ocean ecosystems in coastal regions, revealing for the first time how they circulate nutrients and oxygen around the waters when they spawn. This process is key to keeping the ecosystems running.

Oceans are made up of multiple layers, ranging from lighter, warmer waters at the top to denser, cooler waters at the bottom. Ocean mixing is vital to move heat, oxygen, nutrients and pollutants between different layers and therefore plays a major role in how ecosystems sustain life.

Although it is well established that winds and tides supply the bulk of the energy that drives mixing, the contribution made by swimming organisms has not been understood -- until now.

In this new study, a team led by the University of Southampton spent fifteen days monitoring water turbulence in the Ría de Pontevedra, a bay in the north-west coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The researchers used an instrument called microstructure profiler, which measures variations in the ocean current speed and temperature over very small distances.

The results, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, showed that increased levels of turbulence and mixing occurred every night, similar to turbulence caused by a major storm, despite the weather staying calm throughout the study.

Read More here .

An ocean of noise: how sonic pollution is hurting marine life

Today’s oceans are a tumult of engine roar, artificial sonar and seismic blasts that make it impossible for marine creatures to hunt or communicate. We could make it stop, so why don’t we?

Today, ocean waters are a tumult of engine noise, sonar and seismic blasts. Sediments from human activities on land cloud the water. Industrial chemicals befuddle the sense of smell of aquatic animals. We are severing the sensory links that gave the world its animal diversity. Whales cannot hear the echolocating pulses that locate their prey, breeding fish cannot find one another amid the noise and turbidity, and the social connections among crustaceans are weakened as their chemical messages and sonic thrums are lost in a haze of human pollution.


Here off the coast of San Juan Island, the whales’ voices were like fine silk stitched into a thick denim of propeller and motor sound, clicks and whistles sometimes audible but often disappearing into the tight weave of engines. The dozen boats gave off throbs, whirs and shudders as they tracked the whales, combustion engines swaddling the whales in an inescapable, constricting wrap.

Read More here .

Direct path to Indian Ocean in new land-sea trade corridor

The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, a trade and logistics passage jointly built by western Chinese provincial regions and Singapore, recently launched a new transport route, creating the first direct link to the Indian Ocean. The route's first outbound rail-sea transport freight train left southwest China's Chongqing municipality on April 2.

It will first reach the Laotian capital Vientiane by railway and pass through Thailand via highways before arriving at Myanmar's Yangon, its final destination, a news agency reported.

The new freight service is estimated to take about 10 to 14 days to reach Yangon, cutting the logistics time by more than 20 days compared to the traditional route that goes to eastern coastal cities via the Yangtze river, and then out to sea, according to the corridor's operator.

Read More here .