A Ceremony for Official Launching of the WESTPAC/SEAGOOS Ocean Forecasting Demonstration System (OFDS) for Southeast Asian Seas website (http://18.104.22.168/IOC-WESTPAC_OFDS/index.jsp) was held on 10 May 2012 at the Ninth Intergovernmental Session of IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific, Busan, Republic of Korea. The website was developed by the SEAGOOS pilot project on OFDS to provide data on various ocean variables, e.g. current, temperature, wave height, circulation, by depth and time. This is the only marine forecast product for the region that can be accessed freely by the public and users from the region or from anywhere in the world.
In her statement, Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and Executive Secretary of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission congratulated the project group on their teamwork to make this website and collaboration possible.
“I must mention here also that this project can be seen as capacity building opportunity for countries in the Southeast Asia region in which capacity in ocean numerical modeling in these countries is still in developmental phase”, she added.
Ocean forecast system can provide crucial information of ocean circulation, sea surface temperature, ocean surface wave, sediment transport, which could serve the needs of a variety of human activities related to oil and gas exploration, fisheries, navigation, marine parks management and coastal recreational activities. In view of the need to develop regional capability and capacity for improved ocean forecasting in the region, one pilot project entitled “Ocean Forecast Demonstration” was established at its Eight Intergovernmental Session of the IOC Sub-Commission for Western Pacific (WESTPAC-VIII, Bali, Indonesia, 2010).
This pilot project has been initially developed based on existing cooperation among Malaysia, Thailand and China and to be further expanded to accommodate more participating countries who are willing to join. This project will demonstrate the value of ocean forecasting system initially on the Peninsular Malaysia’s eastern shelf and Gulf of Thailand, through the development of wave-tide-circulation coupled numerical model for the two sub-regions.