First organized in 2014, Fishackathon is one of the world’s largest environmental hackathons. According to the event’s website, the program “focuses on creating equitable, responsible, and sustainable seafood supply chains through the application of impactful, actionable, and scalable digital solutions.” And the program has had many successes in its fields of focus:
Fishackathon has grown to include more topics of interest. However, their goals and challenges have always centered around fishery health. The event seeks to inform of and create solutions to some of the most common ailments fisheries face. The tools proposed at this event can inform future fishery management and keep research teams educated on standing and incoming issues on a global scale. Solutions created in the past have focused on developing smartphone apps or new search engines, but in reality, anything is possible.
As Fishackathon has grown to be more inclusive of new problems and solutions, as have the groups that participate in the event. In 2018, the event took place on 6 continents and in more than 30 countries. In order to create solutions for the world’s oceans, representatives from across the globe must contribute to potential solutions, making Fishackathon the ideal solution.
Padang & Co has organized the event since its inception in 2014 and has remained motivated by the same mission. “They believe that helping large organizations and governments fulfill their innovation ambitions to drive sustainable growth will create a positive impact in this world.” Since these solutions need to be applicable in multiple countries with differing access to resources and mitigating circumstances, solutions need to be fast, cheap, and flexible.
Not only does the event create solutions for both participants and non-participants, but it also connects fishery managers with a host of resources. Creating new innovation tools, forging partnerships with tech startups and innovators, and building communities of interest, are all included in the long list of benefits that result from the event each year.
Fishackathon came about as a means of solving some of the common issues plaguing fisheries in every part of the world. As the website reports, “Overfishing and other serious problems harm marine environments and can devastate already-struggling, small-scale fishing marketplaces and communities, many of them in developing countries.” And while there are protections in place to preserve these habitats, some have yet to be implemented effectively or holistically.
To bridge the gaps between policy and reality, Fishackathon works every year to bring designers, developers and experts to construct practical solutions. With concerned voices coming from across the globe for a single weekend each year, innovation is imminent and will continue to help solve the problems impacting the world’s fisheries.