Christophe Durand, Lionel Loubersac, Jacques Massé, IFREMER, France

Operational GIS applications at the French oceanographic research institute Ifremer


This paper introduces Ifremer, the French oceanographic research institute and describes various GIS projects conducted by the institute. Two operational applications using Esri software are presented in detail :  the management of  environmental factors and bivalve aquaculture on the Marennes-Oléron pilot site on the Atlantic coast of France, and the FishView program used for the evaluation of fisheries resources on board the oceanographic vessel " Thalassa ".
Based on the experience supplied by these projects, specialized Ifremer teams can now provide technical, methodological and thematic support to current and future projects :  GIS applications in Ifremer coastal  centres, coastal GIS data library, deepsea exploration survey offline processing.

Table of contents


Two operational applications described in detail :

Technical and methodological support to GIS projects

Other GIS projects

Conclusion, references, related links and annexes


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What is Ifremer ?

Ifremer (Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER) is a governmental agency with both industrial and commercial vocations. Ifremer is responsible to the French Government for the promotion of advanced scientific research, technological and industrial development related to oceanic resources and environmental protection, and is particularly concerned with :

Fields of activity
  • Living resources
  • Engineering and technology
  • Environmental oceanic research
  • International cooperation and economic affairs

Budget & personnel

  • approx. 975 Million French Francs in 1997
  • 1200 (engineers, scientists and supporting staff)

Research centres

  • 4 main centres in France (Brest, Nantes, Toulon, Boulogne) and twelve coastal stations,
  • 1 centre in French Polynesia (Tahiti)
  • 4 overseas delegations (French Antilles, French Guyana, Reunion Island, New Caledonia)
  • as well as representatives in several countries throughout the world

Research vessels and equipment

  • 8 vessels,
  • 2 manned submersibles (Cyana 3000m and Nautile 6000 m)
  • a 6000 m remote operated vehicle  (Victor 6000)
  • a wide range of deep and shallow water survey equipment

for more information see

GIS at Ifremer

Ifremer teams have been using georeferenced data for 20 years with various sources and tools : modelling, cartography, multi-beam sonars, fishing echo sounders, remote sensing data, photographs and video tapes...

Recent developments of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology now make it possible to integrate data from several sources. GIS on workstations and moreover on desktop PCs have democratized and standardized the georeferenced data manipulation tools. Data can be managed, analyzed, processed and results presented as thematic syntheses within a geographical referential. Over the past few years, the tools have been used for diagnosis and decision support in many cases involving management of a complex situation.

This type of application meets a growing institutional and social demand for synthetic representation facilities which can present several scenarios for coastal zone planning and management problems. It is an efficient interface between scientific studies and analyses and decision making.

The following operational directorates are involved in GIS projects :

Improved knowledge of ecosystems, the ability to model interactions and the relevance of cost/profit analyses should enable integrated multidisciplinary projects to come together on topics such as:

These approaches require that data be standardized, syntheses be drawn up and that coherent representations of coastal territories be implemented. They also require development of original methods to provide an information system architecture for the coastal area.

Ifremer started using Esri software in 1992 and is now operates 5 ArcInfo licences and more than 40 ArcView GIS licences on Unix and PC.

A dedicated structure has recently been set up to provide technical and methodological support to GIS projects teams

Environmental factors and bivalve aquaculture on the pilot site of Marennes-Oléron

The area of Marennes-Oléron was selected in 1994 as a pilot site for an integrated coastal management project lead by Ifremer : the Sillage project. Three years later, this project led to operational implementation of GIS techniques for environmental factors and bivalve aquaculture management.


The site of the Marennes Oléron basin was selected because it combines the following elements in a single region:

  • a wide variety of natural coastal features, some showing active erosion or sedimentation phenomena,
  • considerable overlapping of coastal landscape units,
  • particularly rich and productive environments, outstanding interest for aquaculture and prime importance for tourism and ecology.

The main activities in exploiting living resources are found there: top-ranking zone for oyster farming in Europe, top-ranking zone for mussel-farming in France, development of new aquaculture techniques on lines and in pools on land, a coastal and estuarine fisheries zone, zone for catching bivalve spats, spawning grounds for fin-fish species and fish nurseries.
This area is in the direct vicinity of western France's main salt marshes, which present crucial planning problems. They are torn between developing agriculture, maintaining the activity of oyster refining and maintaining the flooded saltmarshes, as requested by environmentalists for the protection of flora and wildlife

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This area contains the receiving waters for the Charente and Sèvre rivers, as well as part of the Gironde, whose qualities and quantity have been deeply altered by the development of farming and industrial activities over the watersheds.

Last but not least, the area is the number one touristic region on the French Atlantic coastline. Coastal urbanisation, water sports, sailing, bathing and other recreative activities are growing and increase the potential conflicts with other marine activities.

Project description

The goal of the project was to demonstrate the potential of   tools and methods using GIS in order to improve the capacity of  local Ifremer teams to advise officials and oyster farmers and participate in  regional coastal management projects to maintain the ecological balance of the environment.

The Charente-Maritime coastal zone in France has a leading position in oyster culture production. Yet, it is being jeopardized by a number of problems such as overstocking, inadequate distribution of culture types, wild stock in excess, strong siltation processes and potential water contamination risks. Some of these problems spring from a lack of communication and awareness within the professional community, others from obsolete management tools.
For more information see [Loubersac L., Populus J., Durand C., Prou J., Kerdreux M., Lemoine O.]

Data management

The first task has been to identify and evaluate the various sources of information available from more than 15 organisations involved in coastal data production.
The following table lists the main sources of data used by the project :

Data name



Objects types




BD Carto


land use, roads, hydrology, Toponymy, administrative limits

points, arcs, polygons




BD Sigma


bathymetry, coast line, balisage, wrecks, regulations

points, arcs




BD PS (photogrametric)


Detailed tidal zone use

points, arcs, polygons




Corine Land Cover

European Union  via IFEN

Land use



Compatible with IGN


Corine Erosion Côtière

European Union  via IFEN

coastline type, defence works



Compatible IGN



Ministère de l’Equipement

detailed land use

points, arcs, polygons




Oyster farms cadastre

Affaires Maritimes

leased parcels (CM4)

polygons and arcs on paper maps


Local coordinates

1/5.000 or more

Environment quality networks


RNO, REMI, REPHY water quality monitoring networks


yes (Quadrige)



Protected Zones (ZNIEFF)

Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle

ZNIEFF 1 & 2 domain












Halieutic surveys


trawls,  prospection data




less than 1/100.000

Nautical instructions


navigation regulations publications

polygons & arcs on paper maps and text




Data name



Objects types




Fishing and marine aquaculture Regulations

Affaires Maritimes

regulations publications

polygons & arcs on paper maps and text




Sea bottom nature


bio-sedimentary nature of bottoms

polygons & arcs paper maps and text


SHOM maps




granulometry et sediment composition





Shallow waters sonar


bathymetry, imagery

isolines and images



compatible 1/100.000

Bio sediments et competitors


sedimentology and fauna

interpretation of sonar data




Hydrodynamics, hydrosediments, hydrobiology


modelling data





Wetland Atlas


land use in wetlands

paper maps and text




SMVM Sea Blue book


uses by zones

polygons & arcs paper maps and text


IGN maps


Aerial photography

IGN, SHOM, Ifremer....

low tide detailed observation

positives or prints
scanned photos


or Lambert

1/5.000 to 1/20.000

Images SPOT


middle scale observation





NOAA data

CMS Lannion

sea surface temperature





One of the main issues to resolve for the project was which mapping projection to use. The French national hydrographic and oceanographic authority (SHOM) uses the Mercator projection, commonly used in most marine navigation applications. However, considering the potential users of the system and the links with other data sources, the team opted for the Lambert II projection, even though most of the area being mapped was classed as sea rather than land. Lambert is used by the French National Geographic institute (IGN) and the Ministry of Transportation for its dredging and harbour maintenance activities, particularly for depth surveys.

Other data fed into the database included topographic data at 1:25,000 and 1:100,000-scale geographic object sets (both supplied by IGN), hydrographic data from marine charts, 1:10,000-scale photogrammetric data transformed to the Lambert projection, aerial photography and remotely sensed data.

A large part of the data was only available in paper form and had to be specifically processed :

Various methods and tools were used to combine the data and answer specific coastal management questions.

Examples of results

New aquaculture site selection

By combining geo-referenced data concerning the environment, uses and regulations, various spatialized indices were used for the preselection of open sea shellfishfarming areas. The figure shows the areas selected. Experimental farming was started in 1997 and GIS information is used and collected at the regular site inspections.
For more information, contact
and read [Durand H., Guillaumont B., Loarer R., Loubersac L., Prou J., Heral M]

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figure 1

Improved fieldwork

Fieldwork to monitor the basin has been improved with the introduction of an ArcView GIS-based data acquisition and geographic visualisation system aboard the oyster barge that plies the basin. The boat is fitted with GPS positioning equipment and a depth sounder, which feed real-time data into the system as well as user triggered events. Detailed orthophotos, scanned maps, bathymetry and cadastral parcels can be displayed and a tidal model  estimates  the water level in real time.
For more information, contact

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figure 2

Oyster parcels management system

Cadastral and orthophotographic data can be combined to allow stock levels to be assessed for particular areas, and staff can monitor the leases. Stock assessment is a major issue in this area and Ifremer wants to be able to identify particular areas using the same cultivation methods. A combination of black-and-white aerial photography and oyster biomass samples can be analysed to obtain an overall picture of cultivation in the area. 
For more information, contact

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figure 3

Erosion and sedimentation

Cadastral data is also used in conjunction with bathymetric information to calculate the average depth of the water in each lease parcel. Using data from the system, Ifremer teams have been able to assess the progress of sedimentation over a ten-year period from 1985 to 1995 (see figure 4).
For more information, contact
and read [Populus J., Loubersac L., Prou J., Kerdreux M., Lemoine O.]

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figure 4

Estimates of dredging operations

In 1997, local authoritites have funded dredging operations carried out by contractors under supervision of the local Harbour Maritime Service in the Perquis de Ronce (see figure 5). The idea was to improve the flush effect of the ebb tide through channels surrounding some of the banks. The work site width was 50 metres, which meant all parcels intersecting this corridor had to be removed and their owners granted equivalent leases in the vicinity. The dredging corridor width itself was only 20 metres.
GIS was used to calculate the sediment volume between the present elevation and the projected one.

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figure 5

For more information, contact

Synthesis of coastal regulations

This activity aims to generate an information base summarizing all regulations concerning access to resources, areas and protection of the natural environment. Its objectives are:
  • to integrate spatial (and temporal) representation of regulated areas in the Information System, in coherence with IGN and SHOM national geographical data bases on a medium scale (1 : 50,000),
  • to establish links (hypertext and multimedia) between spatial representation of regulations, the relevant administrative texts and technical documents for illustration.
  • to develop the user interface,
  • to facilitate information updates and regulations limits with shared themes (with regions).

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figure 6

The current prototype developed for the Pertuis zone in Charente Maritime deals with two cases:

An extension to protection zones (Znieff, ZPS, ZICO, Natura 2000, etc.) is underway on the same site, using the same scales.

For more information, contact

FishView : evaluation of fisheries resources on board the oceanographic vessel "Thalassa"

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The division of Living Resources (DRV) is involved in all scientific studies covering sea fisheries activities.
Research laboratories are located along the French coast and overseas. Their objective is to collect commercial catch data (landings, size, age, biological data, etc.) in order to produce the best expertise on stocks and advice for management considerations.

Two kinds of method are generally used for exploited stock assessment :

  1. analytical methods from commercial catches,
  2. direct biomass assessments through scientific surveys.

This second type of assessment may be provided by different methods depending on species behaviour, distribution and migrations : bottom trawl surveys, egg counts or acoustic surveys.
For more information see [Diner N.,Marchand P.],  [Mac Lennan D.N, E.J.Simmonds].

In 1996, IFREMER launched a new fisheries research vessel :  Thalassa. It mainly cruises the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea. Several new technologies have been chosen to ensure optimal acoustic performances for the ship. P3607.GIF (7551 octets)

FishView project description    

Ifremer entirely redesigned the real time data processing software as well as the post processing components aboard Thalassa. The FishView project was a part of this effort, and started in 1996 with the following objectives :

  • automatic importing and display of data acquired during an assessment survey,
  • processing the data and producing synthesis results and maps,
  • reliance on an "off the shelf" product : ArcView GIS from Esri,
  • ease of operation, directly on board or in the laboratory.

For bottom trawl surveys (North Sea, English Channel, Mediterranean sea, etc.) the area is divided into statistical rectangles in which one or several systematic hauls are carried out. The biomass calculations are performed taking into account the specific catches of each haul.

During acoustic surveys, fish is quantified along pre-defined transects by measuring the number and intensity of fish echoes, this data is crossed with that from experimental trawls. The total backscattered energy is converted into fish biomass according to specific capacity of reflection. It is therefore necessary to identify echoes by pelagic hauls to estimate the relative proportion of different species. Fishing operations are generally performed each time typical echo-traces are observed [Massé  J., Retière N.].

Because of the difficulty in splitting up the total acoustic energy by species, the classification of fish schools or species assemblages has always been a predominant concern.  Since classification can't be systematically reliable,  trawl samples are still used for mixed populations.


During the survey the following data is acquired on board and processed by FishView :

Fishing data

The catch is collected in a trunk and processed in an automated fish room. The fish is weighed and all or part of it is sorted by species and measured.

FishView imports the following information from the ship sensors :

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Planktonic nets are also used to evaluate eggs and larvae as well as nutrient abundance in the areas studied.

Acoustic data


Acoustic data is acquired using echo-sounders and processed with an Ifremer specialized software called Movies+.
Echoes corresponding to schools are automatically selected and the energies and characteristics of aggregations (level and geometry) are integrated, every elementary sampling unit (ESDU : generally one mile).

FishView imports the following information from Movies+ files :

  • ESDU position and attributes per water slice,
  • ESDU position and total schools energy,
  • position and attributes of each individual school.
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figure 7: Movies+ screen

Hydrographical measurements :

During the cruise, salinity and temperature measurements and samples are taken at different locations. Usually the water column is sampled every metre.

Thalassa also operates a thermo-salinometer which measures the surface temperature and salinity, every 10 seconds.

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figure 8 :  temperature and salinity vertical profiles

Mission description data :

An electronic scientific logbook called CASINO is used to store all the cruise information. It runs the following functionnalities:

  • automatic acquisition of  relevant parameters for the cruise,
  • automatic acquisition of events sent by the bridge electronic logbook,
  • acquisition of the events entered by scientific operators,
  • visualization in real time of the acquired data,
  • recording of events on magnetic disk (UNIX® file),
  • post-processing editing to delete, modify or add records,
  • translation into Microsoft EXCEL® format of all or part of the scientific logbook.

On Thalassa, more than 60 parameters can be recorded : ship position and bearing, meteorology, physical parameters, trawl geometry, winches... This data can be loaded as a point theme in FishView and these attributes used to map specific events or parameter evolution.

FishView main fonctions

FishView is implemented as two ArcView GIS Extensions : FishView and FishView Spatial which requires Spatial Analyst and can be used to performed data interpolation. These extensions add new menus and buttons to the ArcView interface.

FishView fonctions are grouped into four families :

Data importing :

A single button activates automatic importing of the new data acquired by the cruise. This function provides easy updating of synthesis maps as the cruise progresses. Dtat is converted into tables and geographic coverages in ArcView Shapefile format.

Data display :

FishView can display cruise data in interactive views and automatically handles the creation of links and joints between tables when necessary.

Data processing :

Many "push-button" processing fonctions have been adapted to scientists' needs and integrated  into FishView :


  • automatic creation of pie-chart fishing results,
  • Excel fishing report automation,
  • Creation of buffer zones around trawls,
  • Total biomass calculation.


  • extraction of the map of the values measured at a given depth (or at the bottom) ,
  • extraction along a profile of a vertical cross-section,
  • interpolation and kriging of the extracted map and section data.


  • Valid ESDU selection,
  • Deviation per ESDU formula calculation dialog,
  • Average acoustic energy calculation within a buffer calculation,


  • aberrant logbook sensor data filtering,
  • creation of automatically calculated attributes in tables. This function is used in particular to group several species.

Cartographic outputs :

FishView relies on standard ArcView functions to produce printed maps including legends, scales and comments.

Examples of results

Preliminary versions of FishView were used in May 1997 during the Pegase 97 survey in the Bay of Biscay, and in February 1998 during the IBTS 98 cruise in the North Sea.
The final version of FishView will be used during the Pegase 98 survey in the Bay of Biscay from May 20th to June 9th 1998.


The PEGASE survey used acoustic methods to analyse the horizontal and vertical distribution of adult pelagic fish in order to understand how anchovies share space with other pelagic species by describing aggregation strategies. Anchovy adults and larvae were collected in order to compare their physiological state with the environmental conditions. The objective was to analyse factors which could be responsible for recruitment variability.

Acoustic data was collected along systematic parallel transects perpendicular to the French coast. The length of the ESDU (Elementary Sampling Distance Unit) was 1 mile and the length of the transects depended on the fish distribution detected by acoustics and fishing. Transects were usually uniformly spaced every 10 nautical miles.

A midwater trawl was used to identify echo-traces each time they changed.

FishView was used during the survey to produce daily survey maps, process echo-integration data and finally to produce biomass estimates per species.

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figure 9 : PEGASE 97 maps

For more information about PEGASE 97, contact the survey supervisor
and read [Massé J.]


This cruise was part of the International Bottom Trawl Survey (IBTS) program whose objectives are :

The North Sea has been divided into rectangles of 30 minutes of latitude and one degree of longitude. The haul duration is constant (30 minutes), the gear is standardized and each square is sampled by two or three participating countries.

The results are sent to the International Councils for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and are widely used in the assessments of several North Sea fish species and for various other purposes.

FishView was used during the survey to produce cruise maps including pie-charts of fish catches, temperature and salinity, as well as the distribution of fragments of garbage (plastic, glass, ropes, etc.) collected during the trawls.

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figure 10 : IBTS 98 map

For more information about IBTS98, contact the survey supervisor

Technical and methodological support to GIS projects


The GIS projects have highlighted the need for both methodological and technical support for teams. This was originally achieved by combining thematic specialists and GIS technical staff on the same teams.

Methods and tools

Since late 1997, based on the experience acquired in these projects, specialized Ifremer teams from the "Operational Application Service" of the Coastal Environment Directorate (see and the Engineering, Technology and Information Directorate (DITI) can now provide methodological, thematic and technical support to current and future projects :

An Intranet WWW site dedicated to GIS has been recently created. It contains information and links for :

On-going research

Methodology research has been mostly maintained on the original pilot site of Marennes-Oléron where environmental quality issues are being explored. This includes various data information layers such as :

The communication between these databases and those produced by hydrodynamic models will help identify potential risks and environmental impact, useful for decision makers.

for more information see - Illiade project
Contact :

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figure 10b : MARS2D
hydrodynamic model

Other GIS projects


Over the past three years, GIS projects have been developing rapidly. The following projects are a selection of the latest GIS-related activities.

GIS applications in Ifremer coastal  laboratories

The 17 Ifremer laboratories located on the French coast provide advice some 300 times per year to the community of actors and users of the coastal zone : local and state administrations, professional syndicates... They rely on bio-physical information, modelling, as well as land uses and regulation data. Their needs range from a fast data base query to the production of simple or more advanced maps.

The initial challenge of this project is to gather a coherent and easy to use data base including classic coverage from IGN and SHOM as well as data created by Ifremer about inter-tidal zones and shallow waters.

The second challenge is to bring GIS tools into operational use in these small structures. ArcView has been selected as the GIS software package and will equip all the sites soon. Support measures include training sessions on ArcView, GIS and mapping, remote user assistance and  further sessions on site.
Consideration is being given to two standard products, in order to provide an homogeneous Ifremer "touch" to all local map productions

for more information see - Pastis project
Contact :

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figure 11 : coastal laboratories locations

FIGIS - FAIR european project

This project is essentially aimed at developing the space and time analysis of resources exploited by Mediterranean fisheries. It focuses on two approaches which give priority to the spatial component: interactions between resources and environmental factors and interactions between fishing fleet dynamics and the policy system.

This project fits in with actions which will contribute to better understanding of a system involving natural resources and related management measures, especially within the framework of sustainable exploitation. Its realisation on a European scale means firstly, standardisation of basic knowledge available, co-ordination between the various computer applications and setting up communication interfacing. This kind of research particularly suits the Mediterranean, an area where a common fisheries policy is still being defined, all the questions being magnified by the presence of four EU nations amongst the Mediterranean sea coastal countries.

Contact :

P3640.GIF (1606 octets) P3620.GIF (2764 octets)

Partners of the
FIGIS project

Universidad de Alicante
Instituto Espagnol de Oceanografia
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Centre Internacional d'Investigacio dels Recursos Costaners

Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer

Istituto Centrale per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica applicata al Mare
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Universita di Genova
Universita di Bari
Istituto di Tecnologie della Pesca e del Pescato del CNR

Institute of Marine Biology of Crete
National Centre for Marine Research

Coastal GIS data library

Many users at Ifremer need geographical reference data to map their research results. An intranet service was set up by the SISMER service in 1996 to distribute coastline and bathymetric data in various graphical formats. This service has been recently extended and now distributes coastal zone data produced by Ifremer and market data from IGN, US-NGDC,  IFEN and SHOM for which global user licences have been negociated by SISMER.

the SISMER service (Systèmes d'Informations Scientifiques pour la Mer ( designs and operates scientific information systems and databases for national and international projects in the marine domain

Ifremer also operates an Intranet photographic library containing more than 10,000 pictures.

Contact :

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figure 12
: GIS data library screens

Deepsea exploration surveys post-processing

The goal of this project is to provide tools to help scientists display and process data gathered during the dives of two underwater vehicles operated by Ifremer : Victor 6000 and Nautile.

After each underwater vehicle dive, a large volume of data and video tape is available. Today, it is quite difficult to have direct access to information for a specific dive area, and draw up maps from the video images and the data.

The main goal is to provide scientists with a tool set to bridge the gap. With such tools, they will be able to quickly browse through data images and video images of any part of any dive, to draw up scientific maps using a Geographic Information System, to still new pictures from video tapes and carry out image processing or mosaics.

All these tools will be available at sea during field trips. This means data can be worked on immediately following a dive. The tools will also be available in scientific labs and it is thus possible to work on the complete cruise data and video set.


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figure 13 : Nautile submarine survey


This paper covered a brief presentation of Ifremer's GIS activity which is growing steadily. Support teams, training sessions on ArcView, mapping and methodology will facilitate GIS development at Ifremer.

However, the number of projects should not mask the obstacles ahead : GIS projects are still viewed as being too complex. They do not require just data, computers and tools, but also skilled personnel, organizing, methods and above all : Time.


[Diner N.,Marchand P.], 1995 - Acoustique et Pêche maritime - Editions IFREMER

[Durand H., Guillaumont B., Loarer R., Loubersac L., Prou J., Heral M], 1994 " An example of GIS potentiality for coastal zone management : pre-selection of submerged oyster culture areas near Marennes Oléron (France)". EARSEL Workshop on Remote Sensing and GIS for Coastal Zone Management. Delft, The Netherlands, 24 - 26 oct. 1994, 10 p.

[Loubersac L., Populus J., Durand C., Prou J., Kerdreux M., Lemoine O.], 1997.   " Système d'Information à Référence Spatiale et gestion d'un espace de production ostréicole : le cas du bassin de Marennes Oléron. International symposium " BORDOMER 97" Coastal Environnement Management and Protection. Bordeaux 27-29 oct 1997. Actes du colloque Tome 2, pp 186 - 197.

[Massé J.], 1996. Acoustics observation in the Bay of Biscay : schooling, vertical distribution, species assemblages and behaviour. Scientia Marina, 60, suppl. 2, 227-234.

[Massé  J., Retière N.], 1995. - "Effect of the number of transects and identification hauls on acoustic biomass estimate under mixed species conditions". Aquat. Living Resour., 1995, 8, 195-199.

[Mac Lennan D.N, E.J.Simmonds], 1992. Fisheries acoustics. Chapman and Hall, London, 325 p.

[Populus J., Loubersac L., Prou J., Kerdreux M., Lemoine O.], 1997. Geomatics for the management of oyster culture leases and production. CoastGIS'97, Second International Symposium on GIS and Computer Mapping for Coastal Zone Management, Edited D. Green, G. Massie, University of Aberdeen, Aug. 29-31, 1997.



BRGM Bureau de recherche géologiques et minières
CNES Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales
DDE Ministère de l"équipement
ESA European Space Agency
Fishing administration Ministère de l'Agriculture et de la pêche
GéoVariances Geostatistics specialist
IFEN Institut français de l"environnement
IGN Institut Géographique National
Maritimes Affairs Affaires Maritimes - serveur France Océan
SHOM Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine
UBO Université de Bretagne Occidentale


Christophe Durand, (, GIS engineer, Engineering, Technology and Information Directorate
Direction de l'ingénierie, de la Technologie et de l'Informatique
Service Développement de Systèmes Informatiques
29280 PLOUZANE, France
Tel :  (33 2) 98 22 47 00
Fax : (33 2) 98 22 45 46

Lionel Loubersac, (, GIS project manager, Coastal Environment Directorate
Direction de l'Environnement Littoral
Service Applications Opérationnelles
29280 PLOUZANE, France
Tel :  (33 2) 98 22 44 95
Fax : (33 2) 98 22 45 46

Jacques Massé, (, Fisheries biologist,  Living Ressources Directorate
Direction des Ressources Vivantes
Laboratoire d'Ecologie Halieutique
BP 21105
44311 NANTES Cedex 03
Tel :  (33 2) 40 37 41 69
Fax : (33 2) 40 37 40 75



Victor 6000 is a remotely operated deep water vehicle, capable of meeting the requirements of :

· an optical linear survey, usually 10 km, in order to identify interesting areas,
· a local area investigation requiring video inspection, data collection and manipulative tasks.

Furthermore, the ROV can be used on other missions such as wreck inspection
and is a powerful platform for developing new technology.

Victor 6000 consists of specific equipments and facilities :

  • High resolution color cameras with zoom, pan & tilt,
  • Interchangeable toolsled with high payload capacity and large user
    interface (data, energy,...),
  • Dexterous and precise telerobotic manipulator system (arm with 7 axis of
  • Accurate weight adjustment with a variable buoyancy system,
  • Computerized network for vehicle control and data management,
  • Integrated approach for data storage and display allowing fast data access
    and easy post-dive analysis.

P3631.GIF (6725 octets)

Technical characteristics :

Operating depth 6000 m
Vehicle dimensions
weight 3700 kg
Length 3.15 m
Width 2.15 m
Height 1.80 m + Toolsled
Forward > 1.5 knot
Lateral > 1 knot
Vertical > 1 knot
Toolsled - Payload
Payload in water 150 kg
Reversible variable buoyancy system
Capacity : >70 kg
Flow rate : 2kg/min
Video camera
3CCD color camera zoom, pan & tilt
6 additional CCD color cameras
Master slave manipulator ( 7 axis of movement)
Umbilical electro-mechanical cable
Length : 8500 m
Diameter 20 mm
Power 20 kW
6 optical fibers



NAUTILE is a manned submersible designed to explore and investigate up to 6000 m (exploration of specific zones, physical measurements, sampling, monitoring, wreck search, ...).

The vehicle has acoustic navigation equipment, real time data acquisition system (ACQUANAUT II), video cameras, ...

P3630.GIF (10515 octets)

Technical characteristics :

depth rating : 6000 m,
crew : 3,
inside sphere diameter : 2.10 m,
view-ports : 3 of 120 mm diameter,
propulsion : 1 axial motor, 2 vertical thrusters, 2 lateral
thrusters (back and front),
top speed : 1.7 knots,
underwater range : 7.5 km,
autonomy : 5 hours,
hydraulic manipulators : 2 arms.