Showing posts tagged as "seafood"
Hacking for Healthy Oceans
For 36 hours over Father’s Day Weekend, the Aquarium hosted an unusual sleepover. Few of the participants got much rest.
We were one of five sites for a first-ever State Department-sponsored Fishackathon. The goal was to find technological solutions so fishermen in the developing world can make their catch more sustainable.
Teams of coders, designers and project managers created website solutions and apps for smartphones and cell phones - tools that small-scale fishermen can use in places like West Africa and the Philippines to document their catch and report illegal fishing.
Nearly 40 participants gathered on a Friday night in Monterey with laptops, sleeping bags - and novel ideas for creating tools that will be effective in parts of the world where internet access and high-tech equipment is limited. By Sunday morning, they had solutions to offer.
In addition to tackling two State Department problem statements, we also asked our hackers to help with a Seafood Watch challenge: How can information about how fish were caught travel through the supply chain from the boat where it’s landed to the market or restaurant where it’s finally sold?
The outcome? Incredible.
The results were beyond our wildest expectations.
A four-person team we welcomed from the UC-Berkeley School of Information won the top national prize for “Fish DB”, a multi-layered solution to one of the State Department challenges. And a three-person team that formed during the Fishackathon won the Seafood Watch challenge with its “Go Fish!” app: a simple labeling system using colors and numbers to show sustainability and freshness of seafood items. The app incorporates gaming principles, rewards and social sharing features to encourage consumers to buy ocean-friendly seafood.
"I can’t believe what great results these teams produced over the weekend!" said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of Seafood Watch. "We will definitely tap into the talents of hackers in the future."
An appealing location
It might not be too hard to lure them back to Monterey, if comments from the Berkeley team are any indication. They used words like “epic” and “thrilled” to describe sleeping in front of the Kelp Forest and Open Sea, and having access to the knowledge of Aquarium staff and State Department experts.
“We had a blast!” team member Isha Dandavate 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.”
The State Department was equally thrilled, and is now making plans for a 2015 Fishackathon around World Oceans Day.
#Hackathon for Healthy Oceans
Calling all coders (and designers and project managers, too)!
The State Department and the Aquarium need your talents for a project supporting ocean wildlife and healthy oceans.
It all takes place during a #Fishackathon in Monterey, beginning under the full moon on Friday, June 13.
We’ll feed you and put you up at the Aquarium for two days while you #CodeForFish – with our living exhibits as your inspiration. It’s a chance to use your skills to tackle two big fisheries challenges that need solutions if we want our oceans – and ocean wildlife – to stay healthy for future generations.
National event, with prizes
The hackathon in Monterey is one of five simultaneous events taking place across the country during the first-ever #Fishackathon.
Prizes for the cleanest code and best solutions include cash prizes of $5,000 and $1,000, a trip to the Philippines, and a Monterey vacation getaway.
The winning teams will be part of a Google Hangout on Monday, June 16 during the State Department’s Our Ocean 2014 Ocean Summit in Washington, DC.
We’re looking for teams of Silicon Valley’s best and brightest for a day and two nights of creative coding, design and project management, ending Sunday morning, June 15.
Check out our new Seafood Watch blog! Help protect fish and ocean animals by making good decisions when purchasing seafood
Ryan Bigelow at Seafood Watch and What You Can Do show you how to make choices for healthy oceans. It’s not that hard!
Sam’s got something for you! Enter now for your chance to win two tickets to the Cooking for Solutions Gala May 17. Weekly prizes, too. Ends soon!
Great news! The latest round of Seafood Watch updates includes more new and revised recommendations than ever before—everything from wild-caught clams, to oysters, Atlantic flatfish and farmed tilapia. We’re most excited about the “upgrading” of several species from “Avoid” to “Good Alternative,” which indicates positive changes for fisheries management.
Our mobile site is updated and better than ever!
Have you updated your Seafood Watch app for iPhone or Android? Search is now much more intuitive. Get or update the app, and let us know what you think!
Julie Packard named to “50 Most Powerful Food People for 2012”
Executive Director Julie Packard has been named one of “America’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food for 2012” by the influential website The Daily Meal, because of the impact our Seafood Watch program is having on demand for sustainable seafood.
Julie ranks No. 20 on the list –- behind Food Network President Brooke Johnston (No. 1), Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (No. 2), First Lady Michelle Obama (No. 8), Chef Wolfgang Puck (No. 13) and the CEOs of Walmart, McDonalds, Monsanto, PepsiCo and Kraft.
“Our ultimate criterion was simply this,” wrote Daily Meal editor and Saveur magazine founder Colman Andrews. “Is each person on our list capable, whether by dint of corporate station, media access, moral authority, or sheer personality, of substantially changing, improving, and/or degrading the quality and variety of the American diet or the way we think about it? If so, how absolute is the power he or she can bring to bear?”
In evaluating Julie’s influence, the editors concluded that because of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s pioneering efforts in the sustainable seafood movement, “Chefs and responsible consumers all over the country now consult its Seafood Watch list (in the form of wallet cards, a web site, and an app) of sustainable choices in fish and shellfish, thus impacting the seafood marketplace from coast to coast.”
“It’s an honor to be included on this list, and a testament to the impact we want to have in transforming the way seafood is caught and farmed,” Julie said. “From the beginning, we’ve used the best available science as a way to help consumers, chefs and large businesses use their purchasing power to assure a future with healthy oceans.”
Since 1999, we’ve distributed 40 million Seafood Watch consumer pocket guides –- six regional guides, a national guide, a guide to sushi and two Spanish-language guides –- to help individuals make ocean-friendly seafood choices. Our iPhone and Android Seafood Watch apps have been downloaded nearly 900,000 times. The apps also let users map and share the locations of restaurants and retailers where they find sustainable seafood items.
The Seafood Watch science program is the basis for recommendations created by many sustainable seafood programs in North America. Seafood Watch partners directly with the two largest food service companies in North America –- ARAMARK and Compass Group –- to help them shift millions of pounds of seafood purchases annually in more sustainable directions. Seafood Watch recommendations are used to guide wild-caught seafood choices at Whole Foods Market, which has committed to eliminating all red-list Avoid seafood no later than Earth Day 2013.
Seafood Watch partners with nearly 200 aquariums, zoos, science centers and public agencies nationwide to spread the word about the connection between consumer seafood choices and the health of the oceans.
We also work closely with noted chefs and culinary celebrities, and each year at our Cooking for Solutions culinary celebration we honor more than a dozen who are leaders in the movement to make sustainable foods –- including sustainable seafood –- the national norm.