On October 3rd, the Oceans Caucus Foundation hosted the first in a series of briefings on National Security. This briefing, featuring speakers from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), centered on the role of science and technology in preventing ocean crimes.
Ocean crime is a multifaceted issue that threatens global security, economy, and marine resources. Science and technology play a vital role in ensuring the safety and management of our marine territories, as well as those of other countries and the high seas.
The aim of this briefing was to highlight issues relating to ocean crime, including IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing, which developments in science and technology can aid in addressing. Rear Admiral Jonathan White, President & CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and Paul Doremus, Acting Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management at NOAA, led the discussions. Representatives from Vulcan, whose “Tech for Good” initiative seeks to employ mapping technology to address issues like elephant poaching and IUU fishing, provided private-sector insights on technological breakthroughs that can help identify and reduce ocean crimes.
Speakers highlighted the importance of preventing ocean crime given its strong connection to our security, economy, and marine resources and discussed solutions to this global problem, ranging from further technological innovation to global cooperation, including uniting efforts between the public and private sectors. Admiral White discussed ways in which technology used in the ocean, e.g. for monitoring migration patterns to predict illegal fishing or otherwise discovering where illegal fishing takes place, will allow for stronger protection of the oceans. Applying science and technology to respond to urgent ocean needs will help to increase order at sea, said Mr. Doremus, which will in turn allow for better private and public management of our ocean resources.