The International Sea Fair (FIMAR), organised jointly by Gran Canaria Island Council through the Canary Islands Fair Institution (Infecar), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Town Hall and the Port Authority of Las Palmas, was held from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th May. This sixth edition of the event was attended by 41,137 visitors, according to the organisers, and included a wide range of activities from PLOCAN.
As a prelude to the fair, PLOCAN gave several presentations at the Marine and Maritime Scientific Dissemination Seminars CONMAR, delivered by the director of PLOCAN, Octavio Llinás González, and the co-ordinator of the NeXOS European project, Eric Delory. The themes of the presentation focussed on Blue Growth and its links to the Atlantic Strategy and marine energy. The seminars served a double purpose: on one hand to raise awareness among citizens of the challenges and opportunities of the marine and maritime economy for the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the island of Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands region in general; while on the other hand, encouraging citizens to express their opinions and ideas, and to get involved so that their ideas and energy can be channelled into the development of new projects and initiatives.
Dr Andrés Cianca represented the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) at the meeting of OceanSITES, a network of marine stations and observatories that measure oceanic parameters at all depths of the ocean, ranging from the sea surface to the sea floor. Where possible, automated systems equipped with advanced sensors and satellite communication systems are used, enabling the collection of data at high resolution, often in real time, to produce long time series. Observations include meteorological, physical oceanography and biogeochemical parameters, in addition to parameters related to the carbon cycle, ocean acidification, ecosystems and geophysics.
This year, Ocean SITES held its 11th steering committee meeting and its 8th data management team meeting at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, United Kingdom. There, PLOCAN presented the principal scientific achievements to have come out of observations made at the European Oceanic Time Series Station in the Canary Islands (ESTOC).
PLOCAN’s director of Science, Technology and Innovation, Joaquín Hernández Brito, presented the PLOCAN Test Site at the meeting “Energy from waves and currents: Towards its validation in the marine environment”, which was organised by the Basque Country Energy Cluster and the Basque Maritime Forum at the headquarters of Tecnalia in the Technological Park of Vizcaya, and which was held to assess the status of development of ocean energy devices.
The event focussed on the pilot-test phases for the demonstration and validation, at both full size and reduced scale, of prototype devices for the extraction of wave and marine-current energy. The gathering took the form of two main sessions: the first was dedicated to the presentation of the major challenges in the development of wave and marine current energy, and was attended by representatives from the European project OPERA and the engineering company Energie de la Lune; in the second session, available services and projects currently in progress were presented by some of the main test and validation facilities for marine energy within the Atlantic Strategy. Representatives attended from Bimep, Mutriku and Seeneoh in the Basque Country and Aquitaine regions. SEM-REV, situated in the Loire Region of France, and PLOCAN were also present.
The PLOCAN consortium has taken delivery of a new autonomous unmanned vehicle for marine observation. A Sailbuoy from Offshore Sensing AS has been obtained through supply contract L-CSU-PA-4/2015, fulfilled by the company awarded with the contract, Grafinta S.A.
Together with the other units that currently make up the PLOCAN autonomous marine vehicle fleet, the Sailbuoy will enable an increase in the quality and quantity of measurements of meteorological and oceanographic parameters in a sustainable and efficient manner.