MERIS and hydroacoustic data for fisheries management, assessment of ecosystem status and identification of essential habitats in Sweden’s large lakes
Internationally coordinated environmental protection programs require the assessment of the ecological status of habitats and the mapping of the distribution of species and habitats in Swedish freshwaters. These mandatory assessments are hampered today by the size of the largest lakes and the enormous number of lakes in total. However, prime ecological indicators (primary production, temperature, etc) can be measured by remote sensing and assessed through spatial modeling. This auxiliary information can then be used to optimize fish monitoring programs and extend their coverage. Remote sensing can thus provide the key to the implementation of many of the directives and management plans at the desired spatial and temporal coverage. The purpose of this project is to assess and demonstrate the potential of remote sensing in combination with field-monitoring data, and to develop an approach for the assessment of ecological status in general and fish stock status in particular in Sweden’s four largest lakes, Vänern, Vättern, Mälaren and Hjälmaren.
Purpose and goal
The purpose of the project is to develop MERIS based water quality indicators for the large lakes, to employ these to predict the distribution of essential and sensitive habitats, to assess ecological status and to optimise fish monitoring. Our goal is to deliver image products that can be used independently, to support an analysis of the benefit of using satellite data in fish monitoring, to deliver improved indicators of the spatial and temporal distribution of a number of fish stocks and finally to discuss potentials of integrated remote and ground-based monitoring programmes in larger areas and smaller water bodies.