The kick-off meeting of the EU-project ‘iMarine’ was held in Pisa, on 16 and 17 November 2011. iMarine is an initiative to establish and operate an e-infrastructure supporting the principles of the Ecosystem Approach to fisheries management and conservation of marine living resources. The Ecosystem Approach relies on a set of knowledge and data sources much broader than that used in conventional and fishery management and conservation. The monitoring and assessment of target, emblematic or vulnerable species needs to be broadened to cover species assemblages, communities, habitats, and ecosystems, and to cover fisheries’ impacts on all goods and services offered by those ecosystems. OBIS data and expertise will be an essential part of the e-infrastructure, by bringing data on marine species distributions and derived information to the project. By collaborating with the project, OBIS makes a direct contribution to the management of the marine environment.
The project will be led by Donatella Castelli of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Pisa, Italy, and by Marc Taconet of the Fisheries Department of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Rome, Italy. More information on the project, including a complete list of partners and a work programme, can be found on the project’s web site at www.i-marine.eu.