Welcome to IMBeR’s monthly newsletter. This special edition of our newsletter shares updates on the scientific highlights, project development and events of the IMBeR Endorsed Projects. 
IMBeR aims to provide an open, flexible framework to encourage national, regional, and international participation in its scientific activities, to achieve its objectives as outlined in the IMBeR Science Plan and Implementation Strategy. Endorsement of research projects and activities is one way of becoming part of the IMBeR community. More than 50 research projects have been selectively endorsed in the past.
List of current endorsed projects 
Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT)
Project introduction:
The Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) undertakes multidisciplinary oceanographic research during an annual voyage between the UK and the South Atlantic. AMT’s 29 research cruises have hosted 289 sea-going scientists (from 77 research institutes representing 29 countries), produced over 350 refereed papers and contributed to 75 PhD studies. It serves as an ideal platform for national and international scientific collaboration, a training arena for the next generation of oceanographers and an ideal facility for validation of novel technology. Since 2012, there have been more than 239,000 downloads of AMT data from the British Oceanographic Data Center (BODC) by users in 34 countries.

Contact​Andy Rees, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
An ongoing collaboration with a US group revealed dial variability in algal nutrient signatures which sheds new light on the impact of ocean warming on phytoplankton growth (Garcia et al., 2022).

Collaboration with University of Lisbon enabled a comparative validation of observational and remote sensing measures of phytoplankton indices to establish a relationship between size class and functional group (Brotas et al., 2022).

Rapid public availability of AMT data has enabled sophisticated model and machine learning outputs. The use of neural networks has linked AMT and remote sensing observations to project accurate fields of CO2 across the sparsely sampled South Atlantic (Ford et al., 2022).

The AMT community is currently working towards the publication of a special issue of Frontiers in Marine Science with the deadline for manuscript submission of September 2022.

Collaborative Research and Education Project in Southeast Asia for Sustainable Use of Marine Ecosystems (CREPSUM)

Project introduction:
CREPSUM is a three-year project funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) under its Core-to-Core Program. The project team was developed based on a long-term collaboration of member countries, and more than 200 scientists join the CREPSUM from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Goals of CREPSUM are: 1) To Establish an international science and educational network for the Southeast Asia marine ecosystem; 2) To Progress marine ecosystem studies on emergent issues for conservation and sustainable use of marine ecosystem services in Southeast Asia; 3) To Contribute to UN Decade of Ocean Sciences and UN SDG 14 “Life below water” by preparing the best scientific knowledge.

Contact​Hiroaki Saitothe Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo​

Studying the emergence of hypoxic water mass and its transport process in the Gulf of Thailand by means of field observation. Also, examining how flooding affects hypoxic water mass formation using a physical-ecosystem model. It is found that nutrient management is essential to protect the marine environment in the Gulf of Thailand (Morimoto et al., 2021) .

Investigating the effects of biological traits on phylogeographic patterns of selected marine fishes in the South China Sea. It was predicted that overall similarity in these traits correlates with similarity in phylogeographic patterns among species, and that genetic diversity and demographic stability are associated with these traits, as well as the local (paleo)environment (Muto et al., 2021).

Red tides and associated fisheries damage caused by the harmful raphidophyte Chattonella were reassessed based on the documented local records for 50 years to understand the distribution and economic impacts of the harmful species in the Western Pacific (Lum et al., 2021). 

Publication of “Identification Guide to Puffefishes (Tetraodontidae, Tetraodontiformes) of the South China Sea”: This book is useful not only for fish biologist but also non scientists who need to identify potentially poisonous pufferfishes. Some pufferfishes are usually no poisonous and edible but temporally, or regionally, poisonous and induce fatal food poisoning incidents. 
CREPSUM Planning Meeting was held on 24 March 2022 (virtual): with more than 70 attendees.

Jellyfish Identification Workshop 17-18 March 2022 (virtual): A training workshop on jellyfish identification as part of a CREPSUM educational activity in collaboration with IOC/WESTPAC. More than 60 trainees from 9 countries/regions (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam) attended. High-quality microscopic video images were prepared. Lecturers included specialists in jellyfish biology and ecology, medical doctors and health personnel, who lectured on health incidents relating to jellyfish. 

Gulf of Trieste – Time-series (GoTTs)
Project introduction:
GoTTs (Gulf of Trieste - Time series) is designed for long-term monitoring of ecological and oceanographic processes in the northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea at the border of Area Marina Protetta di Miramare. The coastal marine observatory site Gulf of Trieste lies within the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Miramare and includes the biological time-series station “C1”, now part of the Italian Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network, and the in situ continuous MAMBO meteo-oceanographic buoy. The research activities range from marine biogeochemistry to physiology, from ecology to traditional marine biology, and are aimed to understand the dynamics governing marine ecosystems in their complexity and to evaluate the role of oceans in the global energy balance. The studies on a local scale regard coastal and transition waters and address problems related to their sustainable management.

Contact​Bruno Cataletto, Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale - OGS
Information on biodiversity - Presenting the results obtained by avvistAPP. avvistAPP produced data confirming the presence of Mnemiopsis (often in abundances > 20 individuals m−2) along almost the entire Italian coast in the summer of 2019 and 2020 (Tirelli et al., 2021).  Proposing an explanation for field observations of the jellyfish Mawia benovici in the Adriatic Sea, in which the majority of observations refer to males only (Tirelli et al., 2021). Demonstrating that P. triestinum and P. redfieldii are distinct species and thus contributes to a reliable biodiversity assessment of Prorocentrum (Tillmann et al., 2022).

Study of anthropogenic impacts on soft-bottom macrofauna and coastal waters - Assessing the effect of sewage-derived materials on the structural and functional attributes of the soft-bottom macrofauna at an increasing distance from the entire diffusion area. The results showed clear spatial changes of macrofaunal density and biomass along the distance gradient from the main outfall (Vesal et al., 2021). In the framework of the AdSWiM project, “Managed use of treated urban wastewater for the quality of the Adriatic Sea”, a study on dissolved potentially toxic element (PTE) levels was carried out to assess the impact of treated urban wastewaters on the quality of the bathing waters in the Adriatic Sea during the 2019 and 2020 summer period (Girolametti et al., 2022).

Information on bacteria lifestyle - Tracking selfish polysaccharides uptake in surface microbial communities of the northeastern Mediterranean Sea, linking the occurrence of this processing mode with microbial lifestyle, as well as setting up fluorescently labelled polysaccharides incubations supplying phytodetritus to investigate a ‘pioneer’ scenario for particle-attached microbes. This research shed light on the selfish potential of particle-attached microbes, suggesting multifaceted foraging strategies exerted by particle colonizers (Manna et al., 2022).

Marine Ecosystem-based Management Progress Evaluation Group: tracking the global progress of EBM (MEBM-PEG)

Project introduction:
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is now clearly recognized as the international best practice to manage multiple ocean uses, mitigate multiple ocean stressors, achieve reasonable outcomes across multiple- often conflicting- objectives, obtain suitable ecosystem goods and services, and ultimately support a blue economy. This translates into developing shared visions for global oceans that are healthy, resilient, safe, productive, understood and valued so as to promote the well-being, prosperity and security of the present and future generations. 
MEBM-PEG is an international group of EBM experts that systematically tracks progress towards EBM, communicates its benefits, and identifies where remaining impediments to implementing EBM persist, with suggested solutions for achieving further implementation of EBM.

Contact:Mark Dickey-Collas, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and Danish Technical University National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU-AQUA), Copenhagen, Denmark

MEBM-PEG is now planning to initiate work in September 2022, and the major objectives of the project are:
1.   Review major developments in global EBM research and discourse
2.   Continue to review and identify barriers to EBM implementation
3.   Identify action or research to overcome barriers to EBM implementation
4.  Develop opportunities for lessons learned and capacity building in regions where EBM implementation is low.
5.  Report in high level publications global movement towards implementation of marine EBM

Negotiating Ocean Conflicts among Rivals for Sustainable and Equitable Solutions (NoCRISES)
Project introduction:
The NoCRISES project examines the origins, drivers, and options for ocean conflict mitigation. In particular, we aim to uncover the complex causalities of conflicts over the use of the marine environment. To enable globally linked learning, we jointly develop a comprehensive methodological approach that is used in six different case studies (locations in Hawaii, Baltic, Bangladesh, the Seychelles, the Canary Island, and Fiji). In this way, we also create a solid basis for cross-case analyses and useful tools for future use.

Contact:Ingrid van Putten, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
and Centre for Marine Socioecology, Hobart, Australia​

Four papers that will contribute to social science data for ocean management and policy were presented at a Belmont Forum project session at the MARE Conference People & the Sea XI 2021. They are in review for a Maritime Studies Special Issue: ‘Marine conflicts and pathways to sustainability in an era of blue growth and climate change’.

NOCRISES workshop was held in Bremen and online on 21 November 2021. The aim of the meeting was to collaborate on strengthening the shared methods that were to be applied in all case study locations. Further refinement and planning of necessary fieldwork and interactions were also discussed.
A course was delivers to Students from Bangladesh and Germany on conflict and run by NOCRISES team members.
In Bangladesh a creative project was undertaken with women in disadvantaged communities who made artwork using sewing skills.

Importance of Physico-Chemical cycling of nutrients and carbon in Marine Transitional Zones (NUTS&BOLTS)

Project introduction:
NUTS&BOLTS is a 4-year project funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Marine Institute. NUTS&BOLTS addresses knowledge gaps with regard to the impact of multiple environmental stressors on the cycling of nutrients and carbon in Ireland’s marine transitional zones (MTZs). Our overall goal is to improve our understanding, both qualitatively and quantitatively, of the physical and chemical processes, and their fluxes, that impact biological activity in Irish coastal marine and transitional waters. Our overall approach has a number of novel applications to Irish waters, most notably through the use of Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (MIMS) to assess O2/Ar ratios for productivity and climate relevant gases, assessing pico and nanoplankton abundance by flow cytometry, estimating the supply of trace elements via riverine fluxes and evaluation of nutrient controls on primary productivity through the use of bioassays. The data linked to this project will be submitted to the EPA geoportal and the Marine Institute of Ireland data portal.

Contact:Peter Croot, Earth and Ocean Sciences School of Natural Sciences and Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway)​
A considerable portion of the field sampling and laboratory work were able to be carried out despite the pandemic-related restrictions from 2020-2022.

Lough Furnace is an ecologically important lagoon with oxygen-deficient bottom water. Here we found the year-round presence of a community of green photosynthetic bacteria in the lagoon via bio-optical and flow cytometry measurements.

In the Shannon estuary (largest river in Ireland) in September 2021, we collected the radium quartet (223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra, and 228Ra) samples at four sampling stations. Samples of nutrients, trace metals, and hyperspectral downwelling irradiance and other bio-optical parameters were also collected.
Near Monthly field sampling in Kinvarra Bay (Galway Bay), in which we conduct dilution grazing rate experiments and collect hyperspectral data for bio-optical properties. We detected a large bloom of dinoflagellates in September 2021 and obtained valuable data on the conditions before and during this bloom. 

Contact Us
IMBeR International Project Office - China

State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University
500 Dongchuan Rd., Shanghai 200241, China

Tel: 86 021 5483 6463
GiHoon HONG, Kai QIN, Yue ZHU and Fang ZUO
All photographs are © Copyright according Project.