FerryBox is an operational method to continuously measure physical, chemical and biological parameters on board of ships-of-opportunity. FerryBox is a through-flow system installed on board of a ship-of-opportunity (ferry, cargo ship or research vessel) to measure automatically, continuously and unattended a series of important marine parameters. The sensors installed offer the opportunity to measure physical (salinity, temperature, turbidity, …), chemical (nutrients, pH, CO2, DOC –humic compounds, oxygen) and biological (chlorophyll, phytoplankton composition, dominant/harmful species) parameters.
A FerryBox system is triggered by the position of the ship, and closed just before harbor entrances to prevent pollution of the system. A flushing system enables cleaning of the system and prevents biofouling during stay in a harbor. Data obtained are stored in a computer whereas satellite connection enables sending data to the respective institute and control the management of the system.
First steps into a European system of FerryBox systems were taken during an EU-funded project (2002-2005). Since then a sustainable cooperation between the original and new partners has been established. Currently FerryBox systems are installed on a network of European FerryBox contributors, mainly coastal and marine research institutions and national environmental agencies.
Detailed information on all aspects of the system including technical details, sensor types, application, costs and maintenance were published in EuroGOOS publication No.25 , 2007: FerryBox: From on-line oceanographic observations to environmental information.
FerryBox network is operating as a EuroGOOS Task Team. The website is available at: www.ferrybox.org
Chair of FerryBox Task Team: Andrew King, Norwegian Institute for Water Research, NIVA, Norway
Co-Chair: Wilhelm Petersen, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research, HZG, Germany