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Deciding the site to deploy the Marine underwater invasive seaweed monitoring system

To add-value to AMALIA’s concept of creating products based on seaweds through biotechnology, it is important to understand invasive dynamics and also create technological tools to monitor their appearance in situ and send information concerning their biomass to the industry, thus advanced engineering and imaging systems and solutions will be integrated into an underwater system that will provide real-time information on the appearance and quantities of algae - thus enabling algae collection mechanisms for the industry before these algae impose major damage in the marine environment.

To choose the perfect spot to deploy this prototype is of great importance. Today a team from INEGI, IPLeiria, and the University of Coimbra, went diving in several spots of the Berlengas Archipelago, a marine protected area and UNESCO biospehere reserve to check for seaweed blooms and a location where the prototype testing will take place in 2018. Besides the overall importance of technology like this to monitor the ocean for these species but also other physical-chemical endpoints, this location is of much relevance as marine protected areas are highly sensitive areas of paramount ecological importance and every technological input to help preserve these sanctuaries are urgently needed.