Comprehensive, effectively-managed data is crucial to efforts to protect the ocean. South Africa has several databases and systems for ocean data at the Department of Environmental Affairs and staff dedicated to maintaining them.
One of the databases is the Marine Information Management System (MIMS) with free public access. It is a Tier 3 data centre that allows for any planned maintenance activity of power and cooling systems to take place without disrupting the operation of computer hardware located in the data centre.
The South African Environmental Observation Network data portal has “meta-data-driven search and discovery facilities, and also serves as a repository for data contributed by stakeholders and providers”. It has the benefit of using multiple metadata standards that facilitate the uploading of metadata by data originators.
ABALOBI is an information-management system and mobile application suite. Co-developed by academics, the government and fisher communities in South Africa, it empowers small-scale fishers by providing them with access to and control over information and resource networks in areas like fishery monitoring, maritime safety, local development, and market opportunities.
There are data policies in place that determine data use and access, embargoes and legislative considerations.
More information on South Africa is available at the Nairobi Convention Clearinghouse, which is a ‘data reference centre’ in the Western Indian Ocean region, providing accurate and relevant data and information for improved management and protection of the coastal and marine environment in the Western Indian Ocean region.