Why is there so much foam on the beach and what is that stinking smell of the sea? How do these large amounts of green algae come in my fishnets? Why do we speak about 'Death Zones' in seas and how they arise? How is that certain cultured mussels are not suitable for consumption? Why is this happening now? But most of all...how can we help?
To answer all these questions, scientists from various institutions and research disciplines are united in an European project called ISECA (Information System on Eutrophication of our Coastal Areas).
Eutrophication is one of the main causes of the deterioration of water quality. In the North Sea and the English Channel, this phenomenon is related to two major activities: agriculture and industry. Such environmental problems not only have an effect on life in the water but also on the coastal zone and its economic activities (tourism, recreation, environment). The eutrophication problem has been extensively discussed in the EU Water Framework Directive and the OSPAR Convention of 1992. Both Conventions aim to introduce a good management of our rivers and coastal waters. In order to achieve the objectives, the status of water quality must be published and monitored in monitoring programs. ISECA wants to optimize this monitoring through use of Earth Observation, but will also provide guidance on informing authorities and stakeholders (agriculture, industry, tourism) so that action can be taken in near future.