|Research Vessels||Most flexible platform available.|
Variety of measurements possible.
Cannot provide synoptic coverage easily.
|Ships of Opportunity||Potential wide spatial and frequent temporal coverage.|
Quality control problems.
|Aircraft||Good spatial coverage in selected regions.||
Limited by weather.
Limited instrument types and numbers
Focus on nearŠsurface observations.
|Satellites||Synoptic, good spatial coverage, reasonably good temporal resolution.|
Low operating costs.
Good for sea-level, temperature, pigments and winds.
|High initial cost.|
Long-term stability in question.
Clouds cause problems.
Some sensors not useful near shore (within 50 km).
Limited to near-surface conditions.
|Moorings||High temporal resolution.|
Capable of handling many different types of sensors incl. physical, bio-optical, acoustical, meteorological.
Low spatial resolution except in the vertical dimension.|
Difficult to maintain on fishing grounds.
|Drifters||Follow water mass (Lagrangian).|
Can provide ancillary physical and bio-optical data.
|Potential for instrument loss.|
High cost for heavily instrumented versions.
|EŠM Cable Voltages||Low operating cost.|
Provide estimates of spatially integrated transport.
Good for long-term sampling.
|High initial cost if new cable required.|
Difficult to use in regions with fishery operations.
|Acoustics||Mature technology with many different sensor options.|
Measure abundance, size-frequency distribution and currents (ADCP).
High vertical resolution.
|Rarely provide species identification.|
|Optics||Various technologies of varying capability available including
Video Plankton Recorder (VPR), Optical Plankton Counter (OPC), absorption meters, Lidar.|
Some can provide taxa identification.
Some can be deployed on moorings or drifters.
Can estimate standing stock of autotrophs and small heterotrophs.
|More advanced systems, such
as VPR are not mature, not readily available and not cheap.|
Less expensive technologies (OPC) provide size structure, but not taxa identification.
|Molecular and Biochemical Methods||Can be used to evaluate physiological condition, diet, stock structure, species identification and perhaps age of target organisms.||Development of techniques.|
Labor intensive, but potential for automation and use of robotics.
|Historical Proxies||Tree rings, sediment cores, cold water corals, forams and isotopic scale analysis might provide timeŠseries records of atmosphere, ocean or ecosystem conditions.||Lots of exploratory work needed.|
Calibration of some techniques difficult.
Provide no recent information.
|Smart Tags||Can be used to describe animal behavior,
geographic position, migration patterns, and monitor physiological condition.|
Already proven useful for some fish and many marine mammals.
|Potentially low return rates.|
Need to keep the tags inexpensive.
Only applicable to larger organisms.