We recently demonstrated that concentrations of a specific essential fatty acid (eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA) can be estimated on synoptic scales using remotely sensed measurements of ocean colour. We are now expanding on this approach and developing methods to measure essential fatty acid production, using a combination of techniques and coupled with lab and ship-board in situ experiments.
Duerksen, S.W., Thiemann, G.W., Budge, S.M., Poulin, M., Niemi, A. and Michel, C. 2014. Large, omega-3 rich, pelagic diatoms under Arctic sea ice: sources and implications for food webs. PLoS ONE 9(12): e114070. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114070.
Budge, S.M., Devred, E. Forget, M.-H., Stuart, V., Trzcinski, M.K., Sathyendranath, S. and Platt, T. 2014. Estimating concentrations of essential omega-3 fatty acids in the ocean: Supply and demand. ICES Journal of Marine Science 71: 1885-1893. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsu003.