US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — Water covers almost three quarters of the Earth’s surface, but scientists know only a small part of what the ocean hides. Recently, Alphabet, which owns Google, has launched a new project called Tidal. With its help, specialists intend to improve understanding of what is happening with the ocean, which, in turn, will help to more effectively protect fragile marine ecosystems.
“We know about the lunar surface more than on the deepest areas of the ocean,” says Neil Dave ( Neil Dav ), general manager of Tidal.
Part of the lack of knowledge can be explained by the fact that the ocean is not inhabited by people, and it is incredibly difficult to place any equipment in it . GPS and WiFi do not work underwater, salty water is detrimental to electronics, which complicates long-term monitoring of certain parts of the underwater world.
Meanwhile, more and more studies show that environmental pollution and unsustainable fishing practices harm many ecosystems. As a result, we spoil life for ourselves: plastic waste through fish has already penetrated the food of people, and by 2050, according to environmentalists, plastic will fill the stomachs of all seabirds.
For this reason, experts all over the world are striving to develop methods for saving the ocean. The Tidal project may be the largest of its kind.
It is worth noting that he “came out of the pen” unit X (part of Alphabet). It was his staff who developed the project for the delivery of cargo by drones and Project Loon, under which it is planned to provide remote regions of the world with Internet access.
As noted above, the main goal of the new project is to protect the ocean and its ecosystems, which will provide humanity with food without harm to this environment.
But to achieve this, a lot of work remains to be done, including improving understanding of ocean life.
“Our initial goal is to develop technologies that will provide a greater understanding of what is happening underwater,” Dave said. “We explored new tools that could provide useful information to fish farmers looking for environmentally friendly ways to conduct and develop their industry.”
Explain that fish farming generates a lower carbon footprint compared to other animal protein sources, writes Tidal general manager. They also play a decisive role in the nutrition of three billion people, therefore, concludes Dava, help to fish farmers can be critical for both humanity and the good condition of the ocean.
For three years, scientists consulted with fish farmers around the world and found out how much they would like to reduce food waste and the use of chemicals.
It turned out that to date, ideas about the health and life of thousands of fish are based on observation of individual individuals. But such a data collection process not only takes a lot of time, but is also not reliable.
Tidal specialists have created a system of underwater cameras and a set of computer programs to detect and track the behavior of thousands of individual fish. The computer will also collect data such as water temperature and oxygen level.
According to the idea of the developers, careful monitoring of fish and their behavior will help fish farmers manage their farms much more efficiently, for example, due to a more rational use of feed.
All this will help reduce both costs and pollution, scientists say.
“We plan to apply what we have learned to other areas and problems [of the ocean], with the help of ocean health experts and other organizations seeking to find new solutions to protect and preserve this precious resource,” adds Dave.
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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.