Vandalism on data buoys
Ocean data buoys, both freely drifting and moored, constitute a valuable and sometimes unique source of essential meteorological and oceanographic data from remote ocean areas.
Marine observations, including from data buoys, are essential for the provision of weather forecast services to the mariner, including the Maritime Safety Information forecasts and warnings issued by the international NAVTEX and SafetyNET systems. They therefore form a vital element in ensuring the safety of ships, their cargoes and crews. Furthermore they provide a valuable data source for global climate and global change monitoring, research and prediction, and meteorological and oceanographic research that have become a matter of global concern in recent years.
However, simple acts of vandalism of these buoys, both deliberate and accidental, and problems linked with fishing are major ongoing problems in many parts of the world. For example, incidents of buoys caught in trawl-nets or entangled in fishing lines are fairly frequent. The Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) has addressed the problem for many years and considers that ongoing actions to prevent vandalism are required. It was recommended that the leaflet below which is available below in electronic form (pdf), should be widely distributed among Member States and institutions. In addition, a similar article on the issue has been published in March 2005 issue of Met Mar magazine of Météo France and has been translated in English, French, Spanish, and Russian. It is freely available from here and can be distributed as it is without requiring permission.
In2011, the DBCP Published a comprehensive report on the issue on vandalism on ocean data buoys, which includes information on incidence, impact, and responses, and provides for key recommendations (DBCP TD No. 41).
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