MarinEye – A prototype for multitrophic oceanic monitoring

Project facts

Project promoter:
CIIMAR -Interdisciplinary Center for Marine and Envirommental Research
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists,
Civil servants/Public administration staff
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 257,500
The project is carried out in:


MarinEye will develop an innovative multitrophic autonomous system with adequate sensors and sufficient autonomy and robustness to improve integrated physical-chemical and biological monitoring of the marine environment. MarinEye is expected to provide information that could not be obtained by satellites or aircrafts, by increasing the monitoring capacities carried out by vessels, AUVs, oceanic and coastal platforms (fixed or mobile), and observatories. Furthermore this system will contribute to the assessment of the national marine environmental status of coastal waters and remote oceanic areas (e.g. deep sea ecosystems). When operational the multitrophic autonomous system will be installed and used in several marine observatories, namely the Cascais Watch station (in a coastal upwelling area,, the Berlengas Watch station (in a marine protected area), in the platform buoys of the RAIA oceanic observatory (offshore the North West Iberian Atlantic margin). Once operational, data collected by the MarinEye system will be disseminated through the National Information Sharing Environment (NISE) contributing to the Integrated Maritime Surveillance and Monitoring (NIPIM@R).

Summary of project results

The world’s oceans are central to the habitability of our planet, although the dynamics of its environments, is largely unknown with vast unexplored regions and ecosystems that have yet to be characterized. It was produced a multitrophic autonomous system that allow tackling the enormous knowledge gap in understanding the dynamics of the different biological pelagic compartments in specific marine areas of interest and its interactions with the characteristics of the surrounding environment. Thus, it has the potential to considerably increase the environmental monitoring of national marine coastal, remote and ocean protected areas by providing long-term biological surveillance capabilities. In this project we developed an autonomous system for integrated marine chemical, physical and biological monitoring – MarinEye. This system combines a range of technologies capable of providing data that gives an integrated view of the different compartments of the ocean (physical, chemical, biological) at different levels of knowledge (from genomics to biogeochemistry and from micro to macro community dynamics). The capability to simultaneously monitor biological, chemical and physical data provides the ability to answer questions about how organisms interact with their environment and with each other, and how these interactions influence the overall ecosystem stability. MarinEye also includes a centralized data base infra-structure that aggregates all the diverse data sources (physical, chemical, biological) collected by the different modules. MarinEye provide key data to respond to time sensitive environmental issues and addressed the urgent needs of ocean observatories by providing integrative biological monitoring with an extremely important contribution for the consolidation of infrastructures dedicated to the observation of marine environment. Bilateral cooperation with Donor State entities was maintained during MarinEye project by consolidating ongoing collaborations and initiated new collaborations in the field of marine monitoring. Different channels of communication (e.g. television, journals, social media, etc) were used to promote ocean literacy and the dissemination of the scientific research generated in this project to all relevant target groups. Project information is available on the internet web page of the project, social media (,; and youtube (

Summary of bilateral results