Tech & the ocean
By Ben Dugdale
5th April 2018

I’m sure you’re no stranger to hearing about our oceans and the problems with plastic. To put it into perspective on average more than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped in the ocean every year! That figure is huge, and we can do what we can to lower it by recycling more and using less plastic, but it’s not just humans that can help.

Technology is already being used to study and understand the ocean and the life within it, but it can also play a huge part in helping save and conserve one of our biggest natural resources.

One company, The Ocean Cleanup, is already trying to implement technology to safely clean our oceans. Using nets to catch all the plastic floating in the sea would take hundreds of years (and cost millions of pounds!), this company is using ‘floating barriers’ embedded with technology to speed up this process. 

By using algorithms, they are able to pinpoint where the technology needs to be placed, and how best to use it. It can also give real-time data in order to monitor the condition and performance of each barrier. The Ocean Cleanup estimate this technology can clean ‘up to 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years’.

And it’s not just the ‘new’ technology that can have an impact, for years shipping and fishing companies have been using sensors powered by the Internet of Things to understand what impact they are having on the natural environment. Typically, the data that is collected from these sensors can allow scientists and marine biologists to study the marine ecosystem and analyse the effect of overfishing.

This same data is now allowing scientists to really discover the impact plastic waste and climate change is having on marine wildlife and the ocean itself. Scientists at the University of Sydney have used sensors to collect data to build a map of the ocean floor. By looking at the ocean floor they are able to ‘decipher how oceans have responded in the past to climate change’.

These are just a few ways technology is helping to clean and save our oceans. While the impact we have had on the ocean and the wildlife can’t be reversed we can certainly use new and emerging technology to clean up the mess! I’m certainly interested to see how technology and big data can continue to be used to save our planet.

How do you think technology can be used to save the ocean? Have you seen any good uses of technology? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best Information Management and Data Analytics jobs. For more tech news and views check out the KDR blog or follow KDR on LinkedIn

This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. To read the original blog click here.

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