What is KūtaiCam?
KūtaiCam is a hi-tech coastal monitoring buoy used to remotely collect weather and oceanographic data of the waters at Whakatohea Mussels Marine Farm off the town of Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
The KūtaiCam coastal monitoring platform is the first deployed to provide information for the development and improvement of open ocean structures. It is funded by the Cawthron institute in support of a MBIE funded program “enabling open ocean aquaculture”. It has a sister buoy based in Pegasus Bay which is monitoring the same parameters.
What does it do?
KūtaiCam records long-term information on simple but significant parameters like water temperature, air temperature, wind velocity and direction, wave height and direction and water currents. The water currents are measure continuously at 1 meter steps down to 40m deep.
Who uses the data?
The data developed is used primarily to provide the conditions that are found on the site so that equipment can be designed or adapted to those conditions. It is useful to tell us what conditions the aquaculture species (like mussels, oysters or seaweed) are living in. Whakatohea Mussels vessels will also use the buoy to get onsite conditions before they leave the harbour. It also provides information for local marine users such as recreational fisherman, the Coastguard and the Regional and District Councils and it will also provide a continuous data set which can be used in the future to define changes in the oceanographic conditions of the region.
How often is data updated?
Data is downloaded every 45 minutes. Plots are generated automatically and uploaded to the site.