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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


Small-scale fisheries, which catch 50 percent of the fish meant for human consumption, face mounting problems. Overfishing, illegal fishing, fuel costs, lack of resources, and the degradation of the marine environment threaten the livelihoods of those working in small-scale fisheries, livelihoods which are paramount to the welfare of their communities. To address this global challenge and to support Secretary Kerry’s "Our Ocean" Conference, the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (S/GP) coordinated a series of Fishackathons during the weekend of June 13 which aimed to create innovative solutions for the sustainable management of fisheries and the protection of our oceans. A hackathon is a brief and intense collaboration during which software coders and other technology experts create applied solutions to persistent problems. The Fishackathon united volunteer coders to address specific problem statements created by fisheries experts, resulting in technology prototypes that will be deployed on multiple platforms.

Our hosts for the Fishackathons included the University of Massachusetts with the New England Aquarium in Boston, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, GreenWave in New York City, and Venture Hive in Miami. Not only do these Fishackathon partners have a stake in the well-being of our oceans, but they are also tech hubs with the resources to support successful hackathons. By connecting aquariums, universities, and technology communities in this venture, we also hope to create a network of concerned citizens and institutions that can continue to collaborate to address a variety of issues long after the conference.

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