Korean Network of Serial Oceanographic Observations (NSO) PICES Ocean Monitoring Service Award (POMA) – PICES 2011 POMA Award

Dr. Yangho Choi (left) accepting the POMA from and Dr. Bocharov (right, PICES Chairman)

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At the 2011 PICES Annual Meeting in Khabarovsk, Russia, it was announced that the NFRDI (National Fisheries Research and Development Institute of Korea) Network of Serial Oceanographic Observations (NSO) was the recipient of the 4th POMA Award. The presentation ceremony took place on October 17, 2011, during the PICES-2011 Opening Session. It was conducted by Drs. Lev Bocharov (PICES Chairman) and Sinjae Yoo (PICES Science Board Chairman). A commemorative plaque and a certificate were presented to Dr. Yangho Choi, NFRDI senior researcher, who accepted the award.

Science Board citation for the 2011 POMA Award

Long-term monitoring observations are particularly critical to detecting and understanding ecosystem changes. The PICES Ocean Monitoring Service Award (POMA) was established to acknowledge monitoring and data management activities that contribute to the progress of marine science in the North Pacific. It is my great pleasure to announce that the 2011 POMA award goes to the NFRDI (National Fisheries Research and Development Institute of Korea) Network of Serial Oceanographic Observations (NSO).

Since the foundation of the Fisheries Experimental Station in 1921, the predecessor of NFRDI, NSO has been carried out for the purpose of monitoring climate variability and oceanographic conditions, and also for collecting information on fishing grounds and anthropogenic effects in Korean waters. The unique data and information collected by the observations provide the basis for assessing the status of the ecosystem and managing fisheries in the seas around the Korean Peninsula. Accumulated data also have enabled studies of long-term changes in the region. NSO has been one of the key monitoring systems in the marginal seas of the Northwest Pacific and is a good example of long-term oceanographic monitoring in the world.

In the beginning of NSO, 6 observation lines were surveyed occasionally from 2 to 6 times a year. In 1935, 14 observation lines covered the entire seas adjacent to Korea and expanded up to 100 miles from the coast. Among the lines at that time, 4 lines were located in North Korean waters. Oceanographic data collected in North Korean waters, which are hardly obtainable nowadays, were published in the book form of oceanographic charts. The Korea Oceanographic Data Center (KODC) operated by NFRDI keeps these precious old books. In 1961, NSO was reorganized for the Cooperative Study of the Kuroshio project to a bimonthly surveyed grid, with 175 stations from 22 observation lines. The present-day grid includes 196 stations from 25 lines around the Korean Peninsula and in the northern East China Sea surveyed from 4 to 6 times per year.

NSO has guided the Korean oceanographic community to modernization of oceanographic equipment and standardization of seawater analysis methods. NFRDI has been provided a huge amount of oceanographic data and information obtained by NSO for domestic and international users in many ways. For example, the “annual reports of NSO” have been published every year since 1952. They include the data on water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, zooplankton, and meteorological variables. Statistical analysis of the NSO data has been provided intermittently by the “Oceanographic handbook of the neighboring seas of Korea”. NFRDI has sent the NSO data to up to 200 institutes in the world, and those data have been used for various research. The vertical temperature and salinity profiles from ship observations are prepared and released within 2 days of observation time. The NSO data are also released at the KODC website. Near real-time ocean bulletins for several serial lines have been released at the NFRDI website. The data could also be used for monthly ocean forecasts, providing simple statistical information. NFRDI is now planning a real-time/near-real time automated transmission system for oceanographic data to be used for ocean forecast modeling.

The accomplishments of NSO are so numerous that we cannot mention all of them here. Many students and researchers have used the NSO data for academic purposes, and the research results are utilized for marine and fisheries policy issues by policy makers. Furthermore, the long-term NSO data have expedited climate research, providing data with clear signals of regime shifts and warming in the Northwest Pacific. In addition, NSO has supported domestic and international researchers to share NSO data and gives an opportunity of boarding its research vessels.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Yangho Choi, NFRDI senior researcher, who is receiving the 2011 POMA Award on behalf of the hundreds of people, past and present, who contributed to the Korean Network of Serial Oceanographic Observations over the past nine decades.

Dr. Choi's acceptance remarks

It is great honor for me to have a chance to accept this award on behalf of Korean Network of Serial Oceanographic Observations (NSO). First of all, I would like to thank PICES and its MONITOR Committee and Technical Committee on Data Exchange for selecting our Network for this year’s PICES Ocean Monitoring Service Award. As you know, our Network has a very long history, more than 90 years. I am not sure that this could be achieved without any contributions and sacrifices. On behalf of the NSO Monitoring Group, I would like to thank the hundreds of people, past and present, who contributed to this monitoring program over the past 90 years. I am confident that every member of the NSO Monitoring Group will work hard to serve the best data to you all. Thank you very much.