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The Finalists Of The Ocean Awards 2020

The Finalists Of The Ocean Awards 2020

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The Innovation Award finalists

This award recognises the individual, company or group that have this year publicly introduced innovative measures for reducing stress on the oceans or for improving ocean health; such measures might include business operations which are not undertaken at the expense of the marine environment or development of promising new technologies that benefit of the marine environment.

Criteria: Nominees for this award must have undertaken activities or commitments to significantly develop or implement products, services, processes, or measures that have – or are likely to have – a positive impact on the health of the marine environment.

The finalists are:

  • Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO System)
  • SafetyNet Technologies
  • X Shore
  • Dr Melissa Garren – Pelagic Data Systems

Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO System)

Ocean basin-scale migrations of sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds and fish expose them to multiple stressors and governance regimes. Understanding how migratory species use and connect the oceans is crucial for their conservation. While the amount of data describing migratory movements is growing exponentially, the results of these studies remain buried in scientific literature and are only communicated via direct contact with the authors. This bottleneck in the delivery of critical ecological knowledge is a conservation tragedy, constraining area-based planning processes and environmental impact assessments.

The Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean System (MiCO) represents a step-change: a move from aggregating raw data of little use to managers with little time and analytical capacity, to aggregating data in a useable format. This novel approach has contributed to the work of Regional Seas Organisations, the FAO and UNEP, negotiations over a new High Seas treaty, and was recently recognised by the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).


SafetyNet Technologies

Approximately one out of every five fish caught is the wrong fish, leading to over 27 million tons of fish wasted every year globally. This is a huge environmental, economic and ecological cost. SafetyNet Technologies uses light emitting devices to help fishermen catch the right fish, lowering bycatch by up to 90 per cent and improving fishing revenues by 25 per cent. This supports fishermen and helps protect an essential food source both now and in the future.

For ten years, SafetyNet Technologies has been building and carrying out the research and development (R&D) to perfect their technology. In 2019, they started commercialising the ‘Pisces’ light, their newest product. Pisces is attached onto the fishing gear and the correct colour and flash rate is selected to capture target species or deter bycatch species. It activates when it comes into contact with water and can be charged via a wireless charger. The units are sealed so they can withstand seawater and harsh conditions. Trials have already shown significant outcomes, where the use of certain wavelengths of white light on fishing nets can deter sea turtles.



PROTIX is a leading insect ingredient company, sourcing a broad range of products from the Black Soldier Fly. For every kilogram of farmed fish, farmers use more than a kilogram of wild-caught fish to feed them. Due to their high protein value, insects can easily replace the proteins in fish feed, reducing the pressure on marine resources. PROTIX's circular approach uses low-grade fruit and vegetable food waste that is consumed by the insects, which are then used as a high-quality nutrition source in different types of feed for animals, mimicking the natural circular food chain. PROTIX can be used for key commercial species such as salmon, trout and shrimp. Alongside omega 3-fatty acids, protein is essential for aquaculture.


X Shore

Since 2012, X Shore have been designing and building the ‘Tesla of the ocean’. Battery powered, fume-free and silent, X Shore are aiming to tackle marine noise pollution and the use of fossil fuels within the boating industry without compromising design and performance. Unlike electric cars, boats must have enough power to move through water, which is 784 times denser than air. As such, the boats are specifically built for efficiency and speed, powered by water cooled lithium ion batteries.


Dr Melissa Garren – Pelagic Data Systems

Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) was founded in 2014 and is a data analytics company that has set a new global standard for vessel tracking systems (VTS). They have designed the ‘Ultra-light System’, a rugged tracking system that is solar-powered and serves fishing fleets and vessels of any size. The system provides key functionality, such as fleet tracking, activity monitoring and data analysis, without requiring any specialised knowledge from the crew. Unlike other systems, it requires neither vessel power nor any action by fishermen and can be installed by anyone with a screwdriver. The hardware then self-activates and connects to the PDS network, uploading data world-wide automatically. Add-on sensors such as temperature loggers and gear immersion sensors can also be linked with the system. PDS focuses on boosting compliance, improving fisheries management and providing supply chain insight. It won the Seafood Champion Award in 2018 for its creation of the Ultra-light System.


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