$10,000 BLUE Fellowship Grant Promotes Citizen Science and Ocean Conservation

In the News

A $10,000 grant will be awarded to a marine conservation-focused citizen science project by National Geographic Society Explorers, Red Bull Athlete/OTUSA Skipper Jimmy Spithill, Rod and Heidi Roddenberry, and Swift Engineering. Submit your application at https://create.it/campaign/the-blue by 24 October 2014!

Imagine the Ocean belonged to you. You’d like to have a healthy Ocean that’s well stocked with fish. However, over the past 50 years more than 90% of the world’s big fish have been taken from the Ocean, leaving many species at risk of extinction and unable to reproduce fast enough to keep up. Around the world illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a low-risk, high-reward business that over-exploits two-thirds of the global fish population and the surrounding ecosystems. It is very difficult to stop these activities because the fishermen typically need to be caught in the act, which in the past has been nearly impossible. Marine reserves have now been established across the globe to set up international boundaries so that IUU activities can be monitored and actions can be taken against offenders. Now the question becomes: How do we monitor and protect these marine reserves?

National Geographic Society Explorers, Red Bull Athlete and OTUSA Skipper Jimmy Spithill, Heidi and Rod Roddenberry, and Swift Engineering have teamed up to bring heightened awareness of this issue to the global population. We want to identify and implement innovative solutions focusing on the global protection of marine reserves in 3 specific categories: Education, Network and Technology. We are offering the winning submission a $10,000 BLUE Fellowship Grant to further develop their idea and in addition we will invite you to the prestigious Blue Ocean Film Festival on November 6th, 2014.

We invite people to participate in this campaign by submitting a short (90 sec) video entry on Create.it, a performance platform that allows us to identify solutions and talented people. Examples of solutions could be:

  • Education: Traveling to a specific country in need (i.e. Palau) and introducing a new technique to help citizens identify illegal fishing vessels and report them OR teach children about how to protect the marine reserves that have been established: create awareness and action.
  • Network: Using internet resources create a network for legal fishermen around the world to anonymously report illegal activities in marine reserves: they are our eyes and ears in the water each day
  • Technology: Create an open-source low-cost hydrophone out of common non-leeching materials that the world can use to understand if boats are in the marine reserve

Now what’s your idea?

The demographics and behavioral insights captured from The Blue will inform future decisions about resource allocation and crowd sentiment which will help the campaign sponsors allocate resources and media strategies. Our intent is to continually find ways to reach new groups of people in an attempt to connect everyone to provide swift action for this global cause. We invite the world to share their ideas and help conserve our oceans with #TheBlueFellowship.