Conservation & Science

Overfishing: There’s a hack for that.

A coder, a designer and a project manager walk into an aquarium.

That’s not a joke—it’s a Fishackathon.

Isha_Dandavate_fishackathon-sleeping
Participants in the first Fishackathon bed down in front of the Kelp Forest Exhibit. Photo by Isha Dandavate

Over Earth Day weekend, April 22-24, tech-savvy folks will come together at sites around the world, including Monterey Bay Aquarium, to geek out for ocean health. Working in teams, they’ll hatch innovative tech solutions like websites and smartphone apps with a common goal: to tackle the problem of worldwide overfishing.

The Fishackathon, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is now in its third year. And this one promises to be the biggest yet, with more than 400 coders in 12 host cities in the United States, and more than three dozen worldwide. Already, there are plans for events in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. An expert panel of judges will select a winner from each site.

A team from UC-Berkeley hosted at the Aquarium won top prize in the first Fishackathon in 2014. Photo by Isha Dandavate
A team from UC-Berkeley hosted at the Aquarium won top prize in the first Fishackathon in 2014. Photo by Isha Dandavate

The Aquarium was a host site for the first Fishackathon back in 2014. One of the teams we hosted, from the U.C. Berkeley School of Information, won the top national prize for a State Department challenge. Maybe napping near schooling sardines and leopard sharks had something to do with it.

“We had a blast!”  Isha Dandavate, a member of the  winning team, told the UC-Berkeley news service. “I can’t even express how cool it was. Having the hackathon in an aquarium has sort of ruined us for all other hackathons.”

We’ll share more Fishackathon stories during the event! And, we’ll be looking for tech teams and individuals to join us in Monterey.

 

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