ISMO - Information System about the Marine Environment in the Gulf of Trieste


The project provides for comprehensive monitoring and provision of information and data to the expert community and the general public about the ecological and oceanographic condition of the Gulf of Trieste. It adopts meteorological, oceanographic and biological information obtained through other projects that will be upgraded by model analyses. The existing state-of-the-art technology already installed at sea will be suitably upgraded (e.g. underwater cameras, numerical simulations). Databases about the environment will be entered in the GIS system. Updated environmental information will be submitted to the public via websites.




Sustainable management in the Gulf of Trieste depends on familiarity with the Gulf and constant monitoring of the changes occurring there. This calls for continuous measurements in the environment according to the standardised method, the ongoing cross-border exchange of the relevant information and data, the processing and interpretation of observations and the continual informing of the public.


The Slovene and Italian research institutes have developed different systems for oceanographic monitoring of the sea in the Gulf of Trieste.Data are obtained either by measurements at oceanographic buoys, which enable constant monitoring, or by measurements during cruises over the predetermined routes. If all these environmental data were to be systematically arranged, this would accelerate the informing of the public and improve the co-ordination of cross-border research, thereby enabling a greater understanding of the ecology of the Gulf of Trieste. Past environmental data analyses about the Gulf of Trieste enabled only a limited study of the natural phenomena dynamics and referred to marine problems only from specific perspectives, e.g. in relation to the exploitation of fish compositions, biological phenomena affecting tourism (mucilage, sea algal bloom, jellyfish). A project involving the setting up of a system for monitoring, providing information and analyses in the territory of North Adriatic will enable a valuable exchange of data and comprehensive research work. This will lead to efficient planning and management of the Gulf.


So far, the project partners have successfully cooperated on numerous projects with narrow objectives, which were financed by various sources. Therefore, we are capable of implementing a joint project that would include automated environmental monitoring. Partners from both sides would then be able to comprehensively deal with common ecological problems. The observation network is planned to encompass oceanographic and ecological measurements gathered by vessels in the Gulf. The proposed system will cover protected natural areas, and the findings and measurements will be promptly communicated to the general public. Direct and indirect users of the informational system will be: fishery, mariculturists, tourism organisations, public utility companies, the Office for the Protections of Coastal Waters, public administration, the Maritime Office, civil protection agencies, the maritime police, research institutions, schools and the mass media.




The basic objective of the project is the setup of a new informational cross-border system, which will be based on the information network and websites. The system will enable the speedy establishment of connections between research institutions in the border regions of Italy and Slovenia to:


- provide integration and exchange of data, methodologies and knowledge between research institutions on both sides of the border,
- analyse and explain environmental data,
- enable quicker informing of users and providers of suitable public services about the marine situation,
- provide public services expert support for more efficient cross-border management of the coastline and assess natural heritage,
- raise the awareness of the public about environmental problems,
- provide pedagogical support to Italian and Slovene schools,
- enable management of cross-border protected areas to achieve common objectives; experience in this area may be applied to other regions of the Mediterranean,
- devote special attention to rare and unusual phenomena (sea algal bloom, mucilage aggregation, jellyfish clouds, hypoxia and anoxia, etc.).


Expected results are the following:


- co-ordination of experimental activities at sea with numerical simulations
- integration of databases in the GIS system, available via the Internet
- video systems for monitoring the environment above and below the sea surface and other systems for managing oceanographic and biological data
- interactive website for displaying updated data obtained by various measurement systems (automated systems, satellite images, cruises, laboratory - analyses, video footage, model results),
- information on fish compositions and jellyfish (population, origin), by genetic analyses and other methods
- integration (nesting) of existing numerical models of the Gulf of Trieste as a prediction tool for the future marine condition
- organisation of public presentations and the dissemination of acquired information




The mirror project "Studio dello stato trofico e delle anomalie del sistema Alto Adriatico", which is now in progress on the Italian side, deals mainly with the trophic condition of the North Adriatic and ecological anomalies related to it. The project we are preparing does not deal with trophic condition of the sea, but is focused instead on automated ecological monitoring and data exchange, as well as the provision of information to the general public on the oceanographic and ecological condition. While, the mirror project does not cover these activities on the mirror side, its activities are extremely important for rounding up the activity of the applied project. The results of the mirror project will be presented on our project's website.