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Top Technologies to Meet Ocean Environment Challenges

Top Technologies to Meet Ocean Environment Challenges

Top technologies

by Madhurjya Chowdhury

January 25, 2022

Top technologies

The advancement of top technologies has made it possible to achieve a better ocean.

The ocean spans more than 70% of our earth’s surface and generates employment and food for over 3 billion people. It also generates US$3 trillion annually in revenue for the global economy. For many, however, the ocean is largely out of sight and, as a consequence, out of mind. Although the ocean has contributed to a decrease in our climate effect by absorbing 30% CO2 emissions, it has also led to warmer and more acidic water. Technology has made it possible to achieve a better ocean. Let’s look at the top technologies and developments that can assist in cleaning and protecting the ocean environment.


Clean up the ocean

It seems impossible to clean the oceans in our lifetime. Even if nets could be used, the immense amount of waste in the ocean would cost billions and would take hundreds of years to collect. Boyan Slat, a 20 year-old Dutchman, disagrees. The Ocean Cleanup was founded by Boyan Slat, a 20-year-old from the Netherlands. Its goal is to eliminate 90% of ocean plastic by 2040.

Slat invented the idea of large floating barriers that work with the ocean currents to collect rubbish passively. The stream travels underneath the plastic, and the plastic floats above it. This method prevents undesirable fish from being caught in its net. It’s built for massive deployments and spans millions of square miles.


High-tech Tagging

Recent decades have seen animal tagging research expand with promising results for marine life. Electronic tags are so small that they can be attached to any size animal and weigh less than a penny. They can be attached to any size species and transmit data from satellites and reception stations concerning their movements, migratory patterns, interactions with other animals, and so on.

Scientists have had the chance to study everything from 6-gram salmon Smolts to 150-tonne Whales and everything in between. We have been able to better understand the distribution of animals and their population estimates. We also know how they adapt and adjust to climate change and human-made disruptions such as plastic pollution.


Smarter nets

Millions of dead fish get tossed into the water each year. They were too young or too small to be captured. Or they were caught in a dangerous manner and died from the stress of being caught. Since so much of the planet’s population depends on fish for food, it’s an unhealthy and unsustainable approach. However, final decisions are still being made.

One type of technology was developed through collaboration between scientists and New Zealand fishing corporations. Precision Fish Harvesting uses high-tech, trawl netting instead of traditional nets that gather everything in their path. It allows for more fish to be kept alive, healthy, and longer-lasting.


Ocean robots

Scientists have used robot-like robots for decades to explore deep underground areas that humans cannot reach. They can now command robots above the water and equip them with detectors, lights, and tools to return samples and take images.

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Liquid Robotics has created the Wave Glider SV3 independent, solar-powered robotics. The SV3 is an improved copy of the traditional SV2, which collects data over the course of up to a year using the ocean’s inexhaustible source of energy as propulsion. Both ships have Wi-Fi and large data capacities.


Intelligent cameras

An AI camera was created by researchers at UCSD to monitor and track marine endangered animals. The submersible system detects the vocalizations of marine animals and records video to produce relevant data for biological monitoring.

The SphereCam 360 camera contains six cameras oriented around the edges of a cube. This provides a 360 view of the surrounding area. It can run for several days on just one set of batteries and not get wet. It was originally intended to track the vaquita porcoise, but scientists now use it to study a wide variety of species.

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