Sustainable use of marine resources for development of the blue bioeconomy is ensured by availability of information and knowledge. The Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (LIAE) uses digital solutions such as smart buoys, satellites and drones to collect and analyse data.
LIAE located in Riga, Latvia, is a public research institute, an agency of Daugavpils University. It provides scientific support to regional partners looking to use coastal resources, foster the local development and improve the state of marine environment.
The marine environment – its quality and processes – has always been a special focus of LIAE. Recently, emphasis has been put on the wider use of remote observation methods, such as smart buoys, satellite measurements and drone observations.
Since the spring of 2021, three smart buoys are deployed in Latvian marine waters providing real-time information on relevant environmental parameters. Bio-optical measurements with remotely operating photometers are carried out every summer at the Irbe Lighthouse in cooperation with EC Joint Research Centre for better translation of satellite information on seawater quality. Also, drones are used to assess the abundance and distribution of jellyfish in the marine coastal areas.
Moreover, LIAE owns a long-term database of marine observations and measurements in the Gulf of Riga and the Latvian part of the Baltic Sea. A new user-friendly and web-based interface of the database is currently being developed to increase the availability of data. The accumulated data and knowledge will support and advice marine governance and management in the assessment of protection and sustainable use of marine resources.