Crisis In The Ocean: How Technology Can Save It
At times, the ocean sems dangerous – a stage for storm surges and tsunamis. But overall, the ocean safeguards our survival. It plays a huge role in humankind’s fight against climate change. The ocean creates 50% of the oxygen humans need and absorbs 90% of the heat generated by gas emissions. It is a vital food source and provides renewable energy.
Right now, the ocean and its underwater habitats are under massive threat. Present efforts to eliminate threats to the well being of the ocean seem not enough. Is there another solution?
The Ocean is in Crisis
Occupying most of Earth’s living space, the ocean may seem bountiful. But it has limits. Most parts of the ocean are suffering from overfishing. In addition, the ocean is getting warmer and more acidic because it absorbs CO2 emissions and excess heat. Warmer waters lead to global bleaching, which destroyed 70% of the world’s coral reefs. The ocean has also become the dumping point for industrial and agricultural toxic waste and about 8 million tons of plastic yearly.
Technology to the Rescue
Many experts believe technology can help save the ocean. Technological innovations are faster and widely accessible. These innovations can save time and resources needed to conserve the ocean.
1. Gather information more efficiently.
Some beneficial technological advancements that can preserve the ocean include sensors and drones.
- Using Sensors
Sensors and transponders can be attached to boats, drones, and fishing nets to gather information about the ocean more accurately and at a remarkable speed. Accurate and up-to-date data about the ocean can help us understand it better and create effective strategies to preserve it.
Additionally, authorities can also attach sensors to fishing boats to monitor fishing habits and compliance with relevant regulations.
- Using Drones
Drones are powerful tools to monitor oceans. A drone can cruise an ocean length on a yearly basis. Some drones also have real-time reporting abilities that report fish stocks and patrol protected areas. Real-time reporting can result in a more dynamic style of fish management. This technology lets authorities act quickly whenever fishermen violate fishing laws.
2. Analyze Data Better with Machine Learning
The concept of machine learning can dramatically change the way governments manage the ocean’s resources . Machine learning or ML is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables software to predict accurate outcomes. The algorithms for Machine Learning typically use historical data to predict output values.
Data processing, which explains current ocean conditions, is quicker and more accurate with machine learning technology.
Governments and concerned organizations can use timely data to monitor fishing and other related activities in many areas. This new analytical technique allows agencies and communities to manage their ocean resources better and build more accountability amongst members.
3. Use Facial Recognition
Facial recognition technology has been a popular tool for security. But we can explore this technology when it comes to protecting sea life. Facial recognition can automatically identify the fish species. It helps ensure that no protected species get caught.
4. Smartphone Apps
A smartphone application is a type of technology that can help protect the ocean. Apps can get information about fish stocks, consumer demand, market prices, weather, and fishing areas. Access to this information gives fishermen ideas on where to fish and ways to protect the ocean while achieving a sustainable livelihood.
5. Use 3D Ocean Maps
3D ocean maps are the visual representations of the ocean data gathered and analyzed by Artificial Intelligence. Ocean maps in 3D digital format usually relay information like: temperature, nutrient levels, oxygen, and salinity. The map can help fishermen, shippers, environmentalists, and scientists explore and understand the various parts of the ocean better.
3D ocean maps and other interactive data visualization tools can give a clearer picture of common and complex problems the ocean is facing. They can convince governments and agencies to create better policies based on the current and predicted future ocean conditions.
6. Building State-of-the-art Machines
Cleaning up the ocean for trash is a difficult endeavor that requires tremendous financial and human resources. We can leverage technology to clean the ocean efficiently. Today, engineering and technological advancements make it possible to build sophisticated boats, cabins, and sweepers that can effectively remove waste and plastics from the ocean.
7. Treat Wastewater
Untreated wastewater can poison the ocean and kill sea animals. Waste water is a common carrier of microplastics that can cause serious damage to ocean ecosystems. The goal is to prevent untreated wastewater from entering the ocean in the first place. However, wastewater management is labor-intensive and expensive. Therefore, businesses tend to settle with sub-par waste management.
Technology can make waste management easy and affordable. It can empower engineers to build better wastewater treatment systems and processes without requiring fortunes. Ideally, water treatment processes should extend to the secondary and tertiary levels. Water treatment systems should have membrane filters that stop microplastics from entering bodies of water.
Technology may be a strong force that can save the ocean, but it is never enough. The world needs deliberate policies and programs that encourage communities and fishermen to comply. Furthermore, good governance is necessary for these policies and policies to produce the desired results.
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