General Information on SST Charts
Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Charts for your given
area will provide you with a wealth of information so that you will be
able to plan an intelligent strategy to make the best use of your time
and resources. The commercial fishing industry is keenly aware
that environmental variability, such as upwelling, ocean eddies and
fronts affect their operations and catch per unit effort (CPUE). SST
charts will enable you to track,monitor and
predict these developments so as to compliment the information and
you already have.
The SST charts are best used as a preparation tool and are there to
compliment your onboard equipment which you are using to view the
oceans bottom structure and the location of the actual schools of
Some of the main advantages of SST charts are:
1).An inexpensive way of improving your overall catch rate and giving
you an advantage over your competitors.
2).As a guide to aggregations of fish that form at temperature fronts.
3).Eliminate guesswork by helping to determine what locations to fish
and even more importantly, cost and time wise, what locations to avoid.
4).Allow for forward planning and intelligent strategies that make the
best use of your time and resources.
All SST charts are prepared from data downloaded in realtime from
passing NOAA Satellites. For the convenience of the data users we
use the very early morning passes (approximately 5 to 6 am) to prepare
various charts, which are available from 9-10 am every morning. This
the user has the latest data available for routing decisions. The
previous afternoon's image will be used when morning images contain too
much cloud or fog. The raw data is processed and georeferenced to a
projection and the clouds have been masked out (i.e. They appear
The data we use has a resolution of 1100m, which allows for
to be determined to better than 1 degree Celsius accuracy. Due to the
and temperature accuracy, SST fronts are clearly discernible, which is
not the case with other data due to resolution problems.
The SST charts are prepared using the 3 thermal infra-red wavelengths
of night time/early morning imagery. While this resolves
temperature to higher accuracy, it makes for the identification of
lower clouds and fog
very complex and often not fully reliable. Two tests are applied to
most clouds which are then simply coloured "white" in the chart.
on the west coast in particular and on the east coast on occasion can
sometimes appear coloured as if it were a sea surface
temperature, but such
misidentifications are identified and mentioned in the summary that
The images are mailed as an attachment to an e-mail, these are always
in Acrobat Portable Document Format (.pdf) and you will need acrobat
to view it. If you do not have acrobat reader it is free and available
www.adobe.com, should you have any problems with the download we can
it on a CD for you. The advantages of acrobat format is that it is
portable, with file sizes being a fraction of the size of any other
The image will print on a single A4 sheet of paper in portrait for west
images and landscape in east coast image. Further the reader allows for
viewing with all the necessary functions.