The Bazaruto Archipelago: a biodiversity hotspot

The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region stretches from the Horn of Africa (Somalia) to the southern tip of South Africa. Over 20 marine conservation areas and national parks exist in this coastline, nine of them located within Mozambique. One of the most important, the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park (BANP) supports coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangrove forests, sand banks, deep canyons, and narrow shelves that quickly connect with the open ocean.

The BANP is a group of five islands in the Inhambane Province, Mozambique, classified as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 1971. This Marine Park is a conservation priority owing to its significance for contributing to biodiversity and the important goods and services provided by the variety of marine ecosystems. The marine life that inhabits the BANP includes: humpback whales, dolphins and sharks, marlin and tuna, sailfish, wahoo, king mackerel, great trevally, groupers, rays, manta rays, reef fish and turtles.

Resources are currently under threat of exploitation by artisanal fisheries and local communities. The BANP is an example of a pristine coastal location that is quickly undergoing changes following human development that impacts local to regional ecosystems.


The first permanent multi ecosystem time-series Ocean Observatory in Africa

Monitoring across spatiotemporal scales is the key to understanding the magnitude of regional pressures including climate change and human impact on marine coastal ecosystems such as the BANP.

The BCSS Ocean Observatory contributes to the ongoing data gathered by organisations such as the GEOTRACES Program, the SIBER-SCOR Indian Ocean Programme, and the GOA-ON international network (NOAA/UNESCO endorsed).

The main objectives of the Observatory are:

i) To monitor spatiotemporal variability in seawater key parameters relevant to Climate Change/Ocean Acidification (OA) and Human Impact/Pollution concerns at a local, regional and global level.

ii) To identify the current and future marine environmental status of the BANP, and how Climate Change/OA and Human impact/ pollution affect its ecosystems, with the ultimate goal to be a long-term oceanographic reference for the WIO region.

iii) To effectively and timely transfer BANP Ocean Observatory time-series outcomes to relevant local, regional/national, and international communities in a way that is used to inform management, conservation and policy decisions.

Tap the image above to download the infographic in high res.

The Bazaruto Archipelago Ocean Observatory is a unique platform managed by BCSS on Benguerra Island, endorsed by NOAA and GOA-ON, with Mozambican IPI protection under license No. XXX, approved for operation via MCT license No. XXX and ANAC license No. XXX.

OPEN (no restrictions)
Available to all for download/usage
Jurisdiction Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC0BY-4.0)
A DOI name shall be used to cite and link BCSS datasets

Ocean: Continuous time-series data
Data type Data sub-type Parameter Units Method Stations
Satellite Physics Sea Surface Temperature (SST) ºC Remote Sensing Algorhythm 6 sectors (see methods)
Biology Sea Surface Chlorophyll a (Chl. a) mg m-3
Weather Physics Air Temperature ºC Weather Station Sensors Benguerra Island (bulk)
Lat -21.84611
Long +35.45169
Wind Speed m s-1
Wind Direction vector
Air Humidity %
Atmospheric pressure mbar
Rain fall mm

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information or details regarding the BCSS data.


Access our platform and data products directly

DATA TYPE 1: OPEN (no restrictions) – anyone can download/ use – reported to government/authorities

Things like temperature and chlorophyll from the satellited, weather numerical data from BCSS weather station, any data BCSS feels like opening publicly unrestricted under a DOI and a Creative Commons Licence.

DATA TYPE 2: OPEN (after signing a Data Agreement under BCSS terms) – signatory parties can download/use- reported to government/authorities

Things like complex datasets or mixed datasets that will make
a peer-reviewed publication, total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), multiprobe sensor YSI-pH, YSI-dissolved oxygen, USI-salinity, YSI-temperature, dissolved nutrients, dissolved heavy metals, dissolved mercury, stable isotopes, DNA barcosing, plankton data, VEMCO megafauna tracking list, LOTEK satellite data tracks, seabed 3D bathymetry mapr,s 3D bathymetry raw XYZ data, 3D bathymetry raw ArcGIS shapefiles/ rasters and layers, certain GPS coordinates of animals and seabed featured, any data BCSS feels like opening publicly restricted by signed agreement under a DOI and a Creative Commons Licence.

DATA TYPE 3: CLOSED (to the public) – reported to government/authorities if needed/found necessary

Things like confidential GPS spots, secret diving spots, secret fishing spots, sensible spawning aread, spoth holding any element BCSS feels like there is a risk to release any data/ information in relation to it, hotspots of endangered species, trackings of endangered species, any sensitive information, data that BCSS wants only for internal use. DATA TYPE 3 could become DATA TYPE 2 upon request and at BCSS’s discretion as longas there is a sound justification.

Type 1: Sea Surface Temperature (SST – °C) 

Type 1: Chlorophyll a (Chl a – mg m-3)

Type 1: Air Temperature (sensor) (ºC)
Type 1: Wind Type 1: Speed/Direction (sensor) (m s-1)
Type 1: Air humidity (sensor) (%)
Type 1: Atmospheric Pressure (sensor) (mbar)
Type 1: Rain fall (sensor) (mm)

Type 2: Seabed temperature (HOBO) (ºC)
Type 2: Seabed Light (HOBO) (lux)
Megafauna detection data (VEMCO receiver) (detection nº)
Type 3: Megafauna satellite data (LOTEK) (GPS tracks)
Hydrophone/SoundTrap data (ST 600) (Recordings)

Type 2: Total Alkalinity – TA (bottled) ()
Type 2: Dissolved Inorganic Carbok – DIC (bottled) ()
Type 2: Major elements (bottled) ()
Type 2: Temperature (YSI probe) (ºC)
Type 2: Salinity (YSI probe) ()
Type 2: Dissolved Oxygen (YSI probe) ()
pHtotal (YSI probe) (n/a)
Type 2: Plankton tow (50-200 net) (Various)
Type 2: Coral carbonate samples (dried) (Various)
Type 2: Benthic invertebrate samples (dried) (Various)
Type 2: Megafauna ID spatial data (boat surveys) (Various)
Type 2: Megafauna isotope/DNA samples (Various)
Type 2: Seabed 3D multi beam data (boat surveys) (ArcGIS file extensions)

Type 2: Plastic surveys data (Various)
Type 2: Permaculture data (Various)

Scroll to Top

Help maintain our Ocean Observatory’s free global data access. We strongly believe in the power of shared, collaborative science. Please consider a contribution to support BCSS’ open data platform. Become a supporter for only $50 per month.

Receive exclusive quarterly updates via a personal email

Enjoy a discount when booking one of our educational courses

Access to our scientists & professionals for consultation

See your name on our reports & website as a sign of appreciation

Or contribute through a single donation.