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Mid-trophic Automatic Acoustic Sampler (MAAS)

A CLIOTOP/Eur Ocean Foresight workshop.

Integrated ecosystem models are increasingly important for understanding, predicting and managing marine ecosystems in a global change context. In those models, mid-trophic level organisms link phyto- and zooplankton to the dynamics of predators which are harvested by fisheries. In this perspective, the CLIOTOP Program (http://www.imber.info/CLIOTOP.html) has identified the lack of information and understanding about mid trophic levels in oceanic ecosystems as a critical bottleneck jeopardizing the development of such “end-to-end” ecosystem models.

Addressing this critical issue requires a substantial European and international collaborative effort to design and widely deploy an observation system suited to monitor and subsequently model the key processes involved in the dynamics of oceanic pelagic mid-trophic organisms. This is why CLIOTOP promotes the development of a Mid-trophic Automatic Acoustic Sampler (MAAS) to be deployed on a large scale. Acoustics, and complementary technologies, have been identified as tools capable of addressing this critical gap, especially because of their flexible operation from various platforms, such as vessels, unmanned vehicles, stationary rigs and drifting buoys, including ADCP observatories.