Ocean Data, Technology, & Emerging Innovations
Marine protection area monitoring & enforcement, Ocean exploration technology & unmanned platforms, Eco-friendly resource extraction technology, Big data solutions for improving human-ocean interaction
“What is adequate today may be inadequate tomorrow, and, as better methods and equipment are perfected and demands for new facts and knowledge are made, resurveys are periodically necessary. Surveys of tomorrow doubtless will make those of today seem quite inadequate.” (A.C. Veatch 1939)
Using ocean data and technologies we can explore the oceans at unimaginable rates than ever before. As emerging innovations come about such as eDNA and multibeam solar we can understand more about the sea and its unique systems. It is because of maritime scientists and emerging innovators that help make waves of change.
Marine protection area monitoring & enforcement
Marine protected areas help safeguard the waters around remote islands, international waterways, and help create zones for ecosystems to thrive. The larger the MPA or MPA zone (series of protected areas under watch) the increased ability there is to promote things such as sustainable fisheries and cultural resources. MPAs bring together local governments, non-profit, and international bodies to create effective conservation through habitat and biodiversity protection and more.
Ocean exploration technology
Despite covering just over ¾ of the planet only 5% of the oceans have been explored. Ocean exploration technology ranges from having submarines to complex sensors to diving technologies that help us better understand the ocean’s functions, how it supports life on our planet, and allows for innovations to take place above the water.
When it comes to robotic platforms for sea change the most common are remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) or autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) mounted with cameras. ROVs allows us to travel much deeper and eliminate the risk of human lives. These robotic platforms are typically used in mapping the seafloor, assessing the chemical composition, taking the temperature of the surrounding areas as well as photos and videos. In 2019 it was estimated that for every 22 hours an AUV spent underwater there were 150,000 images taken. Researchers took the robotic tools from AUV in liaison with artificial intelligence (AI) and found that it had around 80% accuracy in identifying organisms. Moreover, with the right training, the program could even be 93% accurate in future expeditions thus saving time and reducing the margin of error previously collected solely by human researchers. (https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/news/study-explores-the-use-of-robots-and-artificial-intelligence-to-understand-the-deep-sea)
Eco-friendly resource extraction technology
When it comes to resource extraction revenues gained are an important source for public financing in many resource-rich countries but a key challenge is addressing the social and environmental impacts it has. Green fiscal policy is an example of an eco-friendly resource extraction technology that introduces fees, taxes, and royalties to limit the negative effects while incentivizing sustainable mining programs. (United Nations Environment Program). Similarly, innovation’s focus on closed-loop extraction involves using collection chambers to control and pump solvents. The closed system would help by “enabling extractors to recycle the solvent between extractions”(https://extractionmagazine.com/2019/10/04/most-environmentally-friendly-extraction-method/)lowing the amount of CO2 and ethanol needed for conversion. This method along with proper policy will ensure that there is lower energy demand in the environment.
Big data solutions for improving human ocean interaction
The term big data has to do with computing, referring to the usage of large data sets to reveal patterns and trends specifically relating to human behaviors and interactions. (University of Oxford). The future generation of Big Data solutions must be designed by people who thoroughly understand the problems and context, not just by those who understand the algorithms (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06215-5/ ). One potential way to achieve this is through fostering collaboration among data scientists, domain experts, governments, the public, and the private sectors. (https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab1b7d ). Big Data leads the way in understanding the gradual changes on our planet given the human imposed pressures and how to make strategic decisions.
Other potential innovations for ocean impact Do you have an idea that can change the health of the seas or eliminate the anthropogenic impact we have on our environment? We want to help you! Contact us and submit your ideas. We are excited about what the future holds and hope you’ll be a part of it.