Top Technologies Up for Ocean Environment Challenges




by Madhurjya Chowdhury

January 25, 2022

Top technologies have evolved to play a significant role in achieving 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 creates US$3 trillion in annual revenue for the world economy. However, for many people, the ocean remains mainly out of sight, and as a result, out of mind. The ocean has helped to lessen our climate effect by absorbing 30% of our CO2 emissions, but this has resulted in warmer and more caustic water. Technology has evolved to play a significant role in achieving a better ocean. Let’s look at the top technologies and developments that can assist in cleaning and protecting the ocean environment.

 

Cleaning up the ocean

It appears that cleaning the oceans in this lifetime will be impossible. Even if nets were used, collecting the enormous quantity of waste floating in the sea would cost billions and take centuries. Boyan Slat, a 20-year-old from the Netherlands, disagrees. He founded The Ocean Cleanup with the goal of eradicating 90% of ocean plastic by 2040.

Slat came up with the idea of using large floating barriers that cooperate with ocean currents to gather rubbish passively. Because the majority of the stream travels beneath the plastic and the plastic floats on top, this approach prevents undesirable fish and other marine animals from being caught in the net. It’s built for massive deployments and spans millions of square miles.

 

High-tech tagging

Animal tagging research has expanded in recent decades, with promising outcomes for marine life. Electronic tags are now so small that they weigh less than a penny. They can be affixed to any size species and communicate data to satellites and reception stations regarding their movements, migratory patterns, and interactions with other animals.

Scientists have had the opportunity to study everything from 6-gram salmon smolts to 150-tonne whales and everything else in between. The information gathered has helped us better understand the animal distribution and population estimates, and how they adapt to climate change and human-made disruptions like plastic pollution.

 

Smarter nets

Millions of dead fish are tossed back into the water every year. They were too young and little to be captured, or they were caught in a hazardous manner, and they died as a result of 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 being made.

A collaboration between scientists and fishing corporations in New Zealand resulted in one form of technology. Instead of utilizing typical sprawling nets that collect everything in their course, Precision Fish Harvesting uses high-tech trawl netting to identify and gather specific fish species. It helps to maintain more fish alive, healthy, and long-term.

 

Ocean robots

For decades, scientists have used robot-like robots to investigate the deep depths where humans are unable to go. They can now command robots from above the water, equipping them with lights, detectors, and tools to return samples, take images, and study the bottom and its deep-sea inhabitants.

The Wave Glider SV3, for example, is an independent, solar-powered robot created by Liquid 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 have Wi-Fi and a big amount of data capacity onboard.

 

Intelligent cameras

The UCSD researchers created an AI camera to monitor and follow marine endangered animals. When the submersible system hears a vocalization made by a marine animal, it collects video and produces pertinent data for biological monitoring.

The SphereCam is a 360° camera that contains six cameras oriented on the edges of a cube and provides a picture of the surrounding surroundings. It can run for days on batteries without becoming wet. It was originally designed to track the vaquita porpoise, but scientists are now using it to examine a wide range of species.

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