Protecting our Oceans

Protecting our wild fisheries through digital surveillance of our precious oceans.

Project Budget* - $1.5M

Partner Co-investment* - $0.9M

Supercluster Co-investment* - $0.6M

Project Collaborators

Project Overview

Imagine a protected coast and marine global ecosystem that is monitored with real-time data.

Humanity has long relied on the oceans to sustain life and build community supporting industries. Taken together our global oceans generate goods and services worth $2.5 trillion every year, enough to make them the seventh largest economy on the planet. Earth’s oceans support sectors as varied as global transportation, tourism, fishing and energy generation.

However, the fisheries and aquaculture sectors that provide food for dinner tables across the globe and livelihoods for almost 12% of the world’s population are under threat from illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. This activity costs the ocean economy more than $23 billion a year.

Illegal fishing is typically done by “dark vessels” which do not publicly broadcast their location or appear in public monitoring systems. The threat to fish stocks is real and it is growing. Currently about 30% of all fish stocks are overfished, and about 60% are fully exploited. It’s simply not sustainable if illegal fishing continues.

Unreported and undetected ocean traffic is also a challenge to human rights, to the prevention of human trafficking, and to the border security of maritime nations.

Protection of our oceans relies on self-reporting by vessels-where they are from, what they are catching, and whether they have the right to fish where they are. The criminal dark vessels rely on non-reporting and avoiding detection to commit their crimes and are aided by a lack of a comprehensive detection system that can find them.

This project applies satellite monitoring, AI (artificial intelligence), big data analytics, and data visualization techniques such as VR (virtual reality), to recognize these dark vessels, deter and blacklist them and ultimately prosecute the owners to protect our global fisheries and marine ecosystems.

What would have once been an unknown vessel will be identified through the system. And once these dark vessels are identified, they can be blacklisted, boarded, and ultimately prosecuted.

Protecting our Oceans has the potential to protect the environment, preserve the food and the jobs provided by global oceans, and help deliver information that enhances border security and tackles human rights violations.

*amounts at time of project selection

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