Networking Friday with Kwame Agyekum (University of Ghana / GEO Blue Planet)

On December 4th, 2020, 1-2 PM UTC, Kwame Agyekum, marine remote sensing scientist at the University of Ghana and Co-Chair of the GEO Blue Planet, will address the challenges in the fisheries sector with Earth Observation. The moderator will be Alice Soccodato, GEO MBON / AIR Centre.

There are concerted efforts involving many coastal states, regional institutions and global bodies to develop and improve existing initiatives that focus on reducing the depletion of fisheries resources and marine biodiversity, promoting marine ecosystem health and safeguarding lives at sea. These strategies are most needed in many developing coastal nations and islands that are plagued with myriad of challenges that ultimately prevents them from realising the societal benefits the ocean offers. Weak political structure, poorly resourced institutions, inadequate capacity to utilize technology and geospatial data, among others, remains the bane of many of the public and private sector institutions that have the mandate to ensure sustainable use of the ocean.

The University of Ghana, through the EU/AU funded Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) & Africa project is supporting coastal states in West Africa to utilize Earth Observation data derived from space-borne sensors to support fisheries management efforts. By engaging with policy-makers, issues relating to changes in ocean processes and its impact on fish distribution, threats posed by illegal fishing and environmental destructions from spills at sea are being mitigated by employing geospatial technologies. This talk will provide some insights on the how satellite imaging is being used in planning monitoring and surveillance campaigns of industrial fishing fleets, generating key fishing effort indices, and providing periodic information of the state of the ocean to artisanal fishermen to reduce accidents at sea.


Kwame Agyekum

Kwame Agyekum

Addressing challenges in the fisheries sector with Earth Observation

Dr. Kwame Adu Agyekum is a marine remote sensing scientist at the University of Ghana and Co-Chair of the GEO Blue Planet. He obtained his PhD degree from the University of Ghana in 2016. Kwame has keen interest in using marine EO data for fisheries management as well as in maritime security and safety. His work at the University of Ghana largely focuses on developing coastal and marine services to support monitoring, control and surveillance activities of coastal states in western Africa to curb IUU fishing using various in-situ, modelled and space-borne information such as fishing vessel traffic information from Automatic Identification System (AIS), ocean colour and other remote sensing data, and forecast products from Mercator Ocean to develop potential fishing zone maps to support fisheries management activities in West Africa.


Alice Soccodato

Alice is a biologist and oceanographer working primarily on biodiversity issues, interaction between the physical environment and species distributions, fish larval ecology, top predators habitat modeling, and ecotoxicology and population genetics of species of commercial and conservation interest. She conducted targeted research in Europe (University of Zurich, University of Siena), Australia (Southern Cross University, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies) and United States (University of California Santa Barbara, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), with a more specific training on remote sensing, quantitative ecology, oceanography, population modeling, spatial statistics, molecular biological markers. In France, thanks to CNRS, MNHN and CNES Alice deeply focused on integrating large database information and applying new technologies, such as Remote Sensing, Global Circulation Models and Genomics, to ecologically describe marine biodiversity at the global level and she is willing to continue working on the conservation of marine ecosystems. She currently works for the GEO MBON Secretariat and the AIR Centre EO Lab.

We will continue with the Networking Fridays during the next months. More information about future sessions as well as presentations and videos from previous sessions can be found here. Twitter Hashtag: #netfridays. Expect some very exciting afternoons, or mornings or evenings, depending on where you are…

If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.