When reading the news this weekend I came across something pretty cool. I wasn’t even looking for fish-related news, but I couldn’t resist. What I found was something called ‘Fishackathon.’ Here is the website, and here is the release from the US Department of State announcing what it is, and how Fishackathon is held.
So what the heck is Fishackathon?
According to the US Department of State website, a hackathon is “a brief and intense collaboration during which software coders and other technology experts create applied solutions to persistent problems.” Given the persistent problems that impact the ocean—unsustainable fishing, pollution, and climate change, to start—it would seem that software coders and technology experts have their work cut out for them during this year’s 2nd annual Fishackathon.
Fishackathon is really a pre-event for World Oceans Day 2015, which is held today (June 8th). The objective of the hackathon is to get coders to together and create technological solutions (mobile apps, etc.) to help fishermen work smarter and safer. Coders get together for the weekend (this past weekend), in one of over a dozen major cities, with most locations in the US. Once there, they hack.
Four areas are identified that are challenging fisheries and oceans today: fisheries management, conservation, aquaculture, and traceability. Participating hackers are then prompted with problem statements to help them guide their efforts (and in the event they are not familiar with the issues facing oceans and fish). Problem statements include things like: “Track aquaculture feed ingredients from the original source to the harvested product,” “Develop a measuring board (or other system) that could automatically measure and record fish length,” and “Monitor Invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) in Western Atlantic and Caribbean.” Many other problem statements exist, and it’s clear some thought was put into them to help guide hackers toward important solutions.
Perhaps the best way to understand the hackathon is to check out some projects.
Fishackathon winners will be announced today, so check it out the Fishackathon twitter feed for updates.