At the heart of satellite design and information exploitation is firstly, understanding who the potential users may be, and secondly, how best to promote the value of using the information gathered from Earth Observation (EO) resources. The FP7 funded project “Support for Aquaculture and Fishing Industries” (SAFI) is using a comprehensive communications strategy to (a) establish who our users are and what services they require, and (b) to support the evaluation of service acceptance and utility. Engagement and communication with target audiences are critical tools working in tandem with service development, ensuring the services SAFI will offer to potential users are relevant to them, and are streamed at the most appropriate level to their operational needs. Furthermore communication and dissemination of information to audiences beyond the consulted users is a critical goal for the SAFI project. Potential users within the general public should ideally feel adequately informed to provide targeted feedback on the services developed, or recommend its potential to be exploited.
Potential users were identified and consulted from the project outset to ensure that SAFI’s planned outputs will be: (a) useful to the targeted sectors, (b) achievable using the data sources, facilities and expertise of the project partners, and (c) presented in a way that would highlight the benefit of the applications to the real-world situations of the targeted sectors. SAFI shall culminate in the development, deployment, and evaluation of an integrated web-GIS decision support service, broadcasting information on fisheries and aquaculture indicators to the various concerned stakeholders (industry, public administrations in charge of fishery/aquaculture planning, EO service providers, and the wider public), fed by a service of EO high level data processing.
This work on user requirements and dissemination of EO data and other similarly targeted projects, further deepens the reach and impact of EO data on our society, and may eventually lead to shaping the focus of future EO missions.