Technology and water don’t often go hand in hand, as anyone who has desperately plunged their phone into a bag of rice will tell you.
But technology is being used to thwart one of the biggest issues affecting the world’s oceans today – overfishing.
According to the WWF, 29% of the world’s fish stocks are overfished. In the last 40 years, there has been a recorded decrease in marine species of 39%. Tons and tons of fished are hauled out of the oceans every day, and among them fish that are ‘undesirable’, nevertheless caught in the net. Smartfish H2020, a global technological initiative, is aiming to stop this.
Using a variety of techniques, including AI, machine vision and acoustics, Smartfish H2020 technology helps fishermen make better decisions when out on the open water. It lets them know whether the fish they’re catching are the intended targets, as many smaller fish end up in a catch they’re not meant to be in. It also tells fishermen if the area they’re in is being overfished, so they can move on to a more sustainable area.
As Smartfish H2020 is also an inventory tech, it incentivises fisheries to use it, and encourages them to think twice about the easy option in favour of something better and safer for the health of the planet’s marine life, in return for making their business easier to navigate.
Sometimes sustainability is about give and take – doing things the easy way is … easy. But it’s not always right. For people who only know how to do things one way, some convincing may be needed, and technology can sometimes be our best argument.
39% Decrease in marine species