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Innovative marine monitoring techniques

Participants in tonight’s Café Scientifique taking place in Valletta will get to learn about innovative marine monitoring techniques, guided by marine biologist Alan Deidun.

Up to a few years ago, 24/7 monitoring of our seas was not possible as data collection followed certain protocols that involved direct sampling through the fields of scubadiving, on board vessels or through human-mediated instrument deployment. The ‘operational’ aspect of marine monitoring was unheard of.

There has been a dramatic change since the days of traditional and stringent sampling at sea, with a plethora of contraptions. These range from small water temperature data loggers which record water temperature every hour round the clock for five consecutive years to permanent moorings of gliders which embark on a pre-programmed itinerary of hundreds of kilometres which involve dives down to 1,000 metres followed by surfacing.

The contemporary marine scientist toolbox reserves yet another trump card: citizen science, which is increasingly being used to track elusive phenomena such as alien species introductions in our waters and the blooming of jellyfish species.

■ This session is taking place at St James Cavalier in Valletta tonight at 7.30pm. Participation is free. Malta Café Scientifique thanks the STEAM project funded by the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 Strategic Partnership, Sammy’s by Culinary Forward Malta, Spazju Kreattiv, the University of Malta and Malta Chamber of Scientists for making this event possible.

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