World Ocean Day – sustainable innovation for our oceans

June 8th is World Oceans Day. This year, the theme is Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.

Marine ecosystems sit at the heart of many of the world’s global challenges: food, medicines, biodiversity, clean energy, climate regulation, job creation and inclusive growth. However, exploitation of our ‘blue economy’ is rife, from illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing to pollution caused by various industries both on land and at sea. We need to safeguard and improve the health of marine ecosystems to support the worlds growing use of marine resources.

Innovation for sustainable oceans is needed.

The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) is supporting organisations to use innovative space technology to solve development challange across a wide range of sectors, including solutions to reduce and prevent IUU, decrease coastal erosion, promote safety at sea and detect and respond to pollution.

IPP has funded six projects that support innovation for our oceans. Verumar in the Philippines and Satellite-Enabled Maritime Domain Awareness for Chile’ (SEMDAC) are demonstrate the value of using satellite data and advanced algorithms in detecting IUU fishing. Satellites for sustainable fishing in Indonesia and South Africa Safety Initiative
for Small vessels’ Operational Take‑up (OASIS-TU)
in Malaysia and South Africa are working towards improving safety at sea. And Coastal Risk Information Service (C-RISE) is supporting coastal populations from the consequences of climate variability and change in Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.

The video below provides a snapshot of the positive impact that Earth and Sea Observation (EASOS) having on detecting oil spills off the coast of Malaysia using space solutions.