Ireland is one of 30 countries participating in a global hackathon this month, which aims to develop digital solutions that will make the world’s fisheries more sustainable.

Over the weekend of 10th – 11th February 2018, thousands of designers, developers and fisheries experts will gather in 65 cities across the world, including Cork, to help build practical and technical solutions for some of the challenges facing fisheries today.

This is the first time the global event, which is now in its fourth year, has taken place in Ireland and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), Ireland’s sea-fisheries regulator, in partnership with the Environmental Research Institute (ERI),  sponsors of the Irish event, are hoping for a large turnout at the Cork hackathon, which will take place in Environmental Research Institute, UCC.

Anyone interested in participating will find full details of the event at www.sfpa.ie

Dr Susan Steele, Chair, SFPA, said that the team-based initiative will involve participants across the world working on a range of special challenges that have been defined by some of the world’s fisheries experts.

“This event is for anyone with a background in coding or fisheries who wants to help solve some of the fundamental challenges facing the world’s fisheries. These include issues in the areas of sustainability and regulatory enforcement as well as helping to create a socially responsible marketplace. We are delighted that two challenges we proposed are among the 11 challenges that be addressed by participants from New York to Taipei and Cork to Halifax and we are excited at the prospect of the diverse and innovative solutions that could emerge.”

The first of the SFPA’s two challenges looks at the need for a smart solution to make fishers aware of the relevant laws and requirements that apply in each of the areas in which they fish. This could be a digital solution based on a vessel’s location. The second SFPA challenge seeks to create a seafood label that would assist consumers who want more details on the sustainability of the fish they are thinking of buying i.e. sustainability accreditations, catch location, vessel, etc so they can make an informed choice.

Expert mentors will be on hand at all events to help provide advice and assistance that will ensure the development of solutions that are both relevant and impactful.  The winning team in Cork will receive a cash prize of €1,000 from the sponsors, the SFPA plus $5,000 worth of credit from Amazon Web Services while the second and third place teams will receive prizes of €350 and €150 respectively. The top team in each location also moves on to the global final, which takes place in March.

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