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The Macaronesia Marine Maritime Observation Network (R3M) has enhanced its monitoring capability this week with a new autonomous measuring device in the archipelago of Madeira. It is a latest generation UMI oceanographic station (Integrated Measurement Unit), which was developed and commissioned by PLOCAN technical staff, with the collaboration of the Port Authority of the Autonomous Region of Madeira (APRAM) and the Madeira Oceanic Observatory (OOM). This activity has been carried out as part of the ECOMARPORT project.

The UMI device, located in the facilities of the Funchal Yacht Marina, comprises a specific array of oceanographic sensors of reference, dedicated to continuously measure essential variables of the sea water, such as temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and hydro-carbons. The data recorded are made available every hour, along with the other data gathered by the existing set of devices in the four archipelagos of Macaronesia, via PLOCAN’s data portal, accessible from the R3M web site.

Sending PLOCAN technical staff to Funchal has enabled them to tackle maintenance tasks on other measuring devices that the R3M already has in the archipelago of Madeira, such as the UMI station in the facilities of the commercial port of Caniçal and the Funchal Yacht Marina, both of which have been operational since 2015. Several technical steering and co-ordination meetings have also been held with personnel from APRAM and OOM, as ECOMARPORT partners.

Similar actions to improve and extend the observation capability of the R3M are scheduled over the next few months in the Azores and the Canary Islands too.

The main objective of the ECOMARPORT project, co-funded by the first call for projects of the INTERREG V-A Spain-Portugal MAC (Madeira-Azores-Canarias) 2014-2020 co-operation programme, is to promote Marine-Maritime R+D+i in the European and African Macaronesia regions with an operational environmental and marine observation network in terms of water and air quality in the ports of Macaronesia, by developing and using sustainable cutting-edge technologies, generating products and tools of value for its users as a whole, all through appropriate and efficient co-operation and technological transfer between the public and private sector in the field of marine-maritime science and technology, thus fostering business opportunities in the context of Blue Growth.

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