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How Satellites and Big Data Can Help to Save the Oceans

How Satellites and Big Data Can Help to Save the Oceans

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With new marine protected areas and an emerging U.N. treaty, global ocean conservation efforts are on the verge of a major advance. But to enforce these ambitious initiatives, according to Yale Environment 360, new satellite-based technologies and newly available online data must be harnessed.

An illustration of ship traffic in 2015. View gallery. (Photo by: Global Fishing Watch.)

An illustration of ship traffic in 2015. View gallery. (Photo by: Global Fishing Watch.)

Over the past century, rampant overfishing, severe pollution, and runaway coastal development have taken a huge toll on the world’s oceans. Now, however, two major advances in global ocean governance are quietly unfolding, offering hope that the early decades of the 21st century will mark a turning point in which humanity can begin to repair the global seas.

Yet a key question remains: Will the new availability of sophisticated, satellite-based technologies, coupled with the democratization of online data about the health of our environment, help ensure that these positive advancements live up to their potential to protect the oceans?

Two encouraging policy developments were mentioned in the Yale story: first is the explosive movement by countries around the world to set up massive marine protected areas of unprecedented size; second is that the United Nations is drawing up a treaty that would manage biodiversity across the high sees, setting new rules for a swath of ocean 22 times larger than the United States.

(Continue here for the full story.)

Avatar of Coral Triangle Written by Coral Triangle

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