The Mesopelagic Southern Ocean Prey and Predators project was launched at the CSIRO in Hobart, Tasmania, September 2016.

Mesopelagic Southern Ocean Prey and Predators

  • December 2017

Mesopelagic Southern Ocean Prey and Predators - MESOPP - is a European H2020 International Cooperation project aimed at enhancing and focusing research and innovation cooperation with Australia.

The project was launched at the CSIRO in Hobart, Tasmania, September 2016, with its first workshop.

The objective is the creation of a collaborative network and associated e-infrastructure (marine ecosystem information system) between European and Australian research teams and institutes sharing similar interests in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, the functioning of its marine ecosystem and the rapid changes occurring with climate warming and the exploitation of marine resources.

MESOPP will focus on enhancing collaborations by eliminating various obstacles - establishing a common methodology and connected network of databases of acoustic data for the estimation of micronekton biomass and validation of models.

Mesopelagic (upper non migrant component) micronekton potential biomass for 2016/08/03 around Antarctica. (CLS)


Three workshops are planned over the project’s three years (June 2016-May 2019). The first was held in Hobart in 2016, the second at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, 7-9 June 2017, just before the third international Krill conference.

Mesopelagic Southern Ocean Prey and Predators – MESOPP - will also contribute to a better predictive understanding of the Southern Ocean based on furthering the knowledge base on key functional groups of micronekton and processes that determine ecosystem dynamics from physics to large oceanic predators.

MESOPP is organised around three themes: acoustic data, models and use cases.

Three reference datasets of essentially 38kHz acoustic data in three different regions of the Southern Ocean (South Indian, South Pacific and South Atlantic) are provided, with additional datasets at 120 and 200kHz, and collocated vertical profiles of oceanographic variables.

The project is working on the development of common methodology and processing of data for facilitating the use of these data in analysis and modelling. In particular, they are used to build observation models to convert acoustic signal into biomass, evaluate and validate different ecosystem modelling approaches (SEAPODYM, ATLANTIS, SIZE-BASED) and help to provide estimation of biomass and potential changes associated to climate change projections.

Model outputs and acoustic databases are made available for inter-comparison through a Central Information System (CIS) on the project website. Both observation and model products will be used in analyses of behaviour and distribution of large marine species. If you are interested, acoustic data and first model outputs can be downloaded from the data catalogue on the website.

More information can be found at

The project partners are:

  • CLS, Collecte Localisation Satellites, France.
  • CSIRO: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia.
  • UTAS: University of Tasmania, Australia.
  • AAD: Australian Antarctic Division, Australia.
  • BAS: Natural environment Research Council NERC-BAS United Kingdom.
  • UPMC : Université Pierre et Marie Curie France.
  • IMR: Institute of Marine Research (Havforskningsinstituttet) Norway.
  • UA: University of St Andrew, United Kingdom.
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