Monday, December 7, 2020

Shipping Industry Asked to Use New App to Help Track Ocean Pollution

Data Gathered Critical in Assisting Environmental Efforts
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – A new app has been launched which mariners are requested to use to help collect data on maritime pollution and build comprehensive maps designed to inform and empower government and NGO environmental efforts.

Created by not-for-profit organisation Eyesea, the app is very simple to use. Seafarers simply have to take a photo and categorise the pollution type. Images are then automatically GPS-tagged, anonymised, and vetted before being incorporated into a comprehensive database of pollution to enable Eyesea to create detailed oceanic maps and charts. Eyesea founder, Graeme Somerville-Ryan, said:

“When we looked into the problem of blue water and coastal marine pollution, we found there was very little global data on the problem. There were many assumptions based on small-scale data samples and unicorn-like rumours, but there was very little large scale data backed up by geo-referenced points of interest.

“It occurred to us that solving the pollution problem was going to be impossible if we didn’t know accurately what was going on and where. Eyesea’s data and maps will empower environmental leaders with actionable, empirical evidence.”

The data is used to build detailed maps and charts available free of charge to governments, clean-up groups, researchers, local authorities and a range of other stakeholders, enabling them to take targeted clean-up action and make evidence-based policy decisions. Somerville-Ryan added:

“With the full support of the shipping community we believe Eyesea is a game-changer for global maritime pollution. Our people are in a unique position to observe, first-hand, the impact of human activity on the oceans. But there is a sense of frustration from those who sail that there is nothing they can do about the things they see. Eyesea gives seafarers a different role, they can now be the ‘eyes of the ocean’, its protectors.”

Currently around sixty commercial ships and a number of private vessels are preparing to test the beta version of the Eyesea app at sea and the organisation hopes many more will come on board in the future. Somerville-Ryan believes Eyesea is an opportunity for seafarers and the wider shipping community to take meaningful action.

In other environmental matters news of the app, and how seafarers can help, comes at a time when scientists in the UK have produced their own map of the four home countries showing just how weather is predicted to change in the coming years due to the rise in temperatures.

The research was undertaken by the Meteorological Office and the BBC and a website now informs UK residents of the likely outcome of changes in their postcode areas which can be accessed HERE.