Fishackathon 2016, an event that calls coders and science enthusiasts around the world to create new tools for fishermen and the industry, took place over Earth Day weekend and projects that made it to the final global round are viewable online.

Young coders hard at work at the at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey Bay Aquarium photo.This is the third year the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships has sponsored the event. In 43 cities across the globe, tech wizards and sustainability advocates came together to brainstorm some pretty stellar mobile and web applications.

One team sought to tackle the oceans marine debris problem and created an app called unTrashed, which gamifies the typically unexciting task of reporting debris. See trash, be a hero, is the apps tentative tagline. Users receive points based on how much data they collect as they encounter marine debris, leveling up and seeing their rank on a leaderboard amongst other players. Ideally, this information would be made readily available to experts such as researchers, government officials, and software developers to expand as they see fit.

Another team worked on a location-based regulation and weather information app for fishermen in the Philippines called FishOps. The app uses cell tower GPS data to track a user, display local marine protected areas, and alert them when they enter a regulated area. The app also provides laws and decrees, resources, and weather alert data, which is generated for localized regions.

We focused on creating a system that is easy to use by anybody, requires no technical knowledge, and is robust enough to be easily scaled,” reads the team description.

The list of finalists includes teams from around the world. You can watch video demonstrations of the apps they made and read about why they decided to tackle a specific problem.

Reading through the thought process of the participants was really interesting. Some are directly involved in protecting the ocean and their countrys fisheries while others were just there to show off their tech skills. One team consisted of a teenage coder who admitted he cared more about mobile mini-games than fish and a Coast Guard patrolman who fights IUU fishing every day.

Its amazing what can be accomplished when two worlds collide. The official winner and the $10,000 in prizes wont be announced until June 8. Until then, be sure to explore the website and look at the projects. Who knows. You might have the knowledge or experience to help a team make their app idea a reality.

Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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