Map of known marine ecological forecast products

Can we predict biology? New article shows that we are doing it already.

Thursday 21 Sep 17


Mark Payne
DTU Aqua
A new article published today provides an overview of the current state of marine ecological forecasting.

The article reviews the current state of marine ecological forecasting, with a particular focus on the first generation of forecast products that have appeared in the last decade. These forecasts are potentially of great value in the management of living marine resources and for all of those who are dependent on the ocean for both nutrition and their livelihood. The authors identify a total of nine operational forecast systems, with the majority being forecasts of spatial distributions, possibly reflecting both the interest in, and the inherent suitability of, this response variable. Forecasts for productivity, phenology and coral reef bleaching event can also be found.

Interestingly, all of these forecast products are to be found in North America and Australia - there are no known forecast products in Europe. This is a situation that DTU Aqua's Fishforecasts website aims to remedy in the near future, with the development and publication of its first operational forecasts.

The authors conclude that moving marine ecological forecasting forward requires striking a balance between what is feasible and what is useful. Realizing the full potential of marine ecological forecasting will require bridging the gaps between marine ecology and climatology on the one-hand, and between science and end-users on the other. Nevertheless, the successes seen thus far and the potential to develop further products suggest that the field of marine ecological forecasting can be expected to flourish in the coming years.

The full article can be found in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science:

Payne, M. R., Hobday, A. J., MacKenzie, B. R., Tommasi, D., Dempsey, D. P., Fässler, S. M. M., et al. (2017). Lessons from the First Generation of Marine Ecological Forecast Products. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4.
8 AUGUST 2022