Aquarium to Host 2nd Annual Fishackathon, Developing a More Sustainable Future One Mobile Application at a Time

fishackathonThe Aquarium of the Pacific will be the only venue in the western United States to host the second annual Fishackathon.

Held all over the world by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, the event calls for coders to create new applications and tools that can be used on mobile devices and phones to help fishermen work smarter and more safely in addition to combating the growing challenges within the seafood supply chain.

In collaboration with Code for Long Beach, the aquarium will host the event starting Friday and ending Sunday, June 7 during the National Day for Civic Hacking. Other locations participating in Fishackathon include aquariums and organizations in Chattanooga, Baltimore, Boston, Miami, New York City and as far South as Santiago, Chile.

fishackaton1According to the aquarium, global catches are declining, due to various reasons such as overfishing, habitat degradation and climate change. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing poses a threat to the stocks and livelihoods of the fishers who depend on these resources to make a living. Fishers in many parts of the world lack the tools and resources to provide the necessary data to conduct responsible fisheries management.

“In order to provide healthful seafood protein to the growing population, we will need a diverse toolkit that includes cost-effective, technological solutions to ensure that there are no unacceptable impacts on the fish, the planet, or the people and communities who rely on these resources," said Kim Thompson, program manager of Seafood for the Future at the aquarium. 

The event will facilitate the creation of networks to improve the monitoring of illegal fishing and applications to assist fishermen in better management of their catches and fisheries.

fishackathon2Last year, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships brought together over 150 coders who were asked to develop apps that could potentially assist in fisheries management, ocean conservation, aquaculture and traceability. Several featured “problem statements” that were vetted for continuation last year included: “An app to trace and determine a catch’s origin within the Indian Ocean," an app to “track aquaculture feed ingredients from the original source to the harvested product” and a “Mobile version of Marine Mammal Authorization Program Incidental Mortality/Injury Reporting Form.”

According to the release, each problem statement was created by organizations including the World Bank, USAID (ECOFISH), World Wildlife Fund and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Meanwhile, the success of the inaugural event has spurred the U.S. State Department to invest in its annual occurrence.

The winner of this year’s Fishackathon will be given the opportunity to attend the next Our Ocean Conference in Chile in October 2015.

For more information about Fickackathon click here.

Images courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific.

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