The Australian Forum for Operational Oceanography (FOO)


In developed countries around the world, Government agencies, R&D providers and marine industries are realising the potential advantages of creating a systematic focus on operational ocean observing, short-range prediction, and delivery of services - covering marine and coastal environments, and physical and biogeochemical properties. This has come to be described as operational oceanography. Recent efforts in the UK to establish a Forum for Operational Oceanography are one good example. As an island nation deriving massive social, economic and environmental benefits from its coasts and oceans, Australia has good reason to be keenly interested in these developments. A team of scientists and managers from across industry, government and academia have therefore come together and formed a steering committee to bring an Australian Forum for Operational Oceanography (FOO) into existence.

The inaugural meeting of The Australian Forum for Operational Oceanography (FOO) was held in Fremantle, Western Australia on 21-23 July 2015 (FOO 2015). The meeting was attended by participants from across 50 organisations, with good representation from all ‘four pillars’ of the Forum’s stakeholder base, namely marine industries, service providers, government agencies and research providers.

The second meeting of an Australian Forum for Operational Oceanography (FOO) was held in Fremantle from 25-27 July 2017 (FOO 2017). Its purpose was to review progress of FOO since the first event in 2015, to assess present capabilities, engagement and needs, to explore uses and users of operational oceanography, and to focus on the ‘hot topic’ of marine extremes. 

To learn more about why we have established an Australian Forum for Operational Oceanography and find out whom it is relevant to see here.

The 'four pillars' of FOO

In essence, the FOO represents a mechanism and opportunity for consolidating Australia’s national coordination of efforts for the benefit of all participating parties. The FOO is meant to be a forum for: 

  • discussions relating to operational oceanography, including requirements of stakeholders, industry and interested parties, and for
  • scientific and technical discussions of common interest to practitioners working in relevant areas or drawing on products from operational oceanography service providers.

See more on objectives here.

Members of the FOO Steering Committee are from across the four pillars, see more here.