Technology in Conservation
Marine conservation technology - Innovative technical solutions - Mechanized devices such as marine pollution collectors, fishing gear tagging - Robotics - AI monitoring - Machine learning - Satellite imagery - Databases - Information systems - New techniques in marine conservation and research - Engineering solutions in marine conservation
Allen Coral Atlas
The Allen Coral Atlas maps and monitors the world's coral reefs to provide actionable data and a shared understanding of coastal ecosystems. In 2017, the Atlas was developed through a unique international partnership of remote sensing, conservation, and coral ecology experts who harnessed satellite imagery, machine learning, and big data processing to capture the first high-resolution view of the world's coral reefs.
Now, the full suite of Allen Coral Atlas tools provides a comprehensive and unprecedented picture of changes to coral reefs over time, giving scientists, decision-makers, and the reef management community critically important information urgently needed for rapid response and conservation. The Atlas system is instrumental in spatial planning, protected area management, reef restoration, and coastal protection/disaster risk reduction. (Scubavox note: Check out the great maps and videos on their website.)
The Allen Coral Atlas is an international collaborative partnership, managed by Arizona State University, other past and current partners include Planet Labs, The Arizona State University, The University of Queensland’s Remote Sensing Research Centre, the National Geographic Society and Vulcan Inc.
Aquarius Systems is an engineering company which designs equipment for surface water management, with the stated goal 'to make waterways usable and enjoyable. Aquatic weed harvesters, trash skimmer boats, amphibious excavators, aquatic weed cutters and a variety of support equipment will help reclaim lakes, rivers and reservoirs from the unwanted vegetation and floating debris that negatively impact recreation and navigation.'. Their Trash Hunter is designed to collect 'unwanted debris from harbours, rivers and other waterways. The skimmer boats can easily retrieve a wide variety of man made and organic floating debris including plastic trash, tires, branches and logs.' The Trash Hunter is an example of a debris skimmer, manned technology currently used in lakes and bays to remove debris or weeds cluttering the water. They typically use a belt conveyor, mechanized grabbers, and water jets to direct debris to storage.
Clear Blue Sea
Clear Blue Sea is an non-profit organization with the stated mission 'to cleanse the oceans of plastic pollution'. To achieve this, they have developed a semi-autonomous and solar-powered device, Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris, FRED, which comes in various versions. Clear Blue Sea has an extensive internship programme, giving opportunities to participate in many different aspects of the organization, including engineering, robotics, merchandise design, administration, education, community projects.
The Coral Gardeners, based in Mo’orea in French Polynesia, aims to “change the world, one coral reef at a time”, via raising awareness and funds for reef restoration projects, using social media, merchandise and their Adopt a Super Coral programme. Their restoration work involves identifying super corals and growing super coral fragments until they are mature enough to be transplanted back onto the reef, with more than 15,000 corals have been replanted already. They are innovating new techniques using AI and smart sensors to observe and monitor the coral nurseries in real-time.
Coralive.org focuses on 'coral reef restoration and protection, management of marine protected areas, conservation education and developing alternative livelihood programs for coastal communities'. They have developed a method to accelerate coral growth and enhance coral resiliency via mineral accretion technology. Their coral restoration projects are active in Jamaica, Madagascar, Kenya, Seychelles, Maldives and Philippines. Seagrass and mangroves are also in their sights, with replantings and transplanting projects underway in places such as the Maldives. They are also involved in MPA management in Madagascar.
Deutsche Stiftung Meeresschutz
The German Foundation for Marine Conservation is a group of committed animal welfare and nature conservation advocates, who fight for the protection of threatened marine animals and the preservation of marine habitats. They support and carry out projects, campaigns, and initiatives aimed at conserving marine life. This includes marine and nature conservation; animal welfare; science and research; and development cooperation. Since 2022 they have had a long term eDNA Project on Fiji-Island to identify habitats of guitarfish species and of young bullsharks. They support projects to protect sharks, rays, sea turtles and marine mammals, restoration of coral reefs and seagrass beds, for sustainable fishing and ocean cleanups. Their educational and awareness-raising work aims at anchoring the importance of marine conservation in people's minds and actions. LinkedIn address: https://de.linkedin.com/company/deutsche-stiftung-meeresschutz
European Network on Invasive Alien Species
NOBANIS is a network of common databases on alien and invasive species of the region Northern and Central Europe. By establishing a common portal access to IAS-related data, information and knowledge in the region is facilitated. Includes alien species in marine environments.
The focus of award-winning organization Everwave since 2018 has been on preventing plastic from entering the oceans by attending to rivers, moving from their original platform of the oceans to the source of the problem. They use active and passive clean-up technologies to efficiently collect garbage and return it to a sustainable cycle, involving their ‘CollectiX’ garbage collection boats and HiveX river platforms, combined with AI. Cameras and sensors on the boats, on bridges or on drones are used to record images and videos of the plastic waste in the rivers. These are evaluated using AI to understand the composition of the garbage, and identify its sources, in order to take preventative action.
FishBase is a global biodiversity information system on finfishes. Its initial goal to provide key facts on population dynamics for 200 major commercial species has now grown to having a wide range of information on all species currently known in the world: taxonomy, biology, trophic ecology, life history, and uses, as well as historical data reaching back to 250 years. FishBase is currently hosted by the Quantitative Aquatics, Incorporated (Q-quatics), (https://www.q-quatics.org/) a non-stock, non-profit, non-governmental organization engaged in the development and management of global databases on aquatic organisms. Management of the FishBase is in the Philippines, while members of the consortium are based all around the world.
Global Coral Reef Alliance
GCRA's Biorock electrical reef regeneration technology directly stimulates the natural energy-generating mechanisms of all forms of life, and is the only method known that can grow Coral Arks to save species from extinction. The Biorock method keeps entire reefs alive when they would die, providing high coral survival when 95-99% of surrounding reef corals bleach and die from heat shock. It also grows back dead reefs and severely eroded beaches at record rates in places where there has been no natural recovery. Current projects are now being operated in Indonesia, Bali, Jamaica, the Republic of Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Phuket, Thailand, Mexico and Grenada.
Global Fishing Watch
Under the general aim of 'Sustainability through transparency in global fishing activity', Global Fishing Watch is the result of a partnership between Oceana, SkyTruth and Google that 'identifies apparent fishing activity and provides the world's first global view of commercial fishing'. It is an online tool that allows anyone in the world to see what 35,000 of the world’s largest commercial fishing vessels are doing, and to track them in near-real time, for free. 'Our purpose is to create and publicly share knowledge about human activity at sea to enable fair and sustainable use of our ocean. We use cutting-edge technology to turn big data into actionable information. We believe human activity at sea should be common knowledge in order to safeguard the global ocean for the good of all.'
Gulf of Mexico
GulfBase is a free, searchable database of people, places, projects, events and organizations in the Gulf of Mexico. It includes information about the Gulf of Mexico, including: its bays and estuaries; reefs, banks and islands; environmental issues; institutions and organizations; people; and an InfoHub with articles on the laws, the science, and socioeconomic issues relevant to management and use of the Gulf; and a Mexican coral reef species checklist. GulfBase aims to be 'a resource for a broad audience of knowledge-seekers: From scientists seeking new collaborators to students researching a science project'.