Revolutionizing Ocean Technology

Applied Tech Review | Tuesday, December 14, 2021

“Technologies that track fish and seafood from the ocean to the dish, including sensors and blockchain, are being used to increase transparency and provide consumers with more information about where a product comes from and the steps it takes to get to the table.”

Fremont, CA: Over the past few years, we have seen several sectors become increasingly digital. This is most evident in sectors of the economy with which we interact every day: media, financial services, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. When you think of the ocean, you're thinking about scientific aspects like biology, divers, iceberg tracking, weather, and whale and seabird migration. What doesn't immediately occur to most people is marine technology. The global economy, like any other sector, is undergoing digitisation. However, digital transformation of the ocean is difficult due to the lack of communication infrastructure and the problems of the underwater environment. The oceans cover about 70 percent of the planet and are an important part of the journey to achieve goals such as climate change goals, food security and improved health. However, much remains unexplored. Here are the biggest opportunities for tech companies and technicians.

Getting To Know Our Oceans

It is often said that we know less about the ocean than about the universe. This is changing rapidly. New technologies are gathering data about our oceans and marine assets in unprecedented ways. For example, sensors, autonomous submersibles, and smart buoys collect data at a lower cost, often in addition to or as an alternative to existing research vessels and human activities. Gathering this information is important, but all this data needs to be analysed as well. Much work is underway to maximise access to and interoperability of this data to support decision-making in many maritime sectors. This data helps us better understand what the ocean occupies, where these objects are, and where they are headed. This can be anything from marine life to fishing gear. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are analysing data on important tasks like carbon monitoring, sea level rise, and near-zero water temperature monitoring, and species migration to help understand their impact on things like fisheries and sea routes.

Tech Opportunities in the Ocean Sector

We often think of offshore oil stewards, captains, fishermen, and factory workers as traditional roles in the maritime economy, but the rise of automation offers new opportunities for non-traditional workers. As work at sea is increasingly being replaced by roles on land, workers have new opportunities to participate in the maritime economy. Technologies that track fish and seafood from the ocean to the plate, including sensors and blockchain, are being used to increase transparency and provide consumers with more information about where a product comes from and the steps it takes to get to the table. Fish processing plants are being automated with fewer and fewer workers, who are increasingly focusing on robots, information technology services and cybersecurity to keep the plants running smoothly. Artificial intelligence is used to reduce waste and increase yields.

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