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Innovation Needed to Save the Oceans

With ever-growing pressures risking the long term health of our oceans, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is teaming up with Conservation X Labs to launch Oceans X Labs, a collaboration designed to harness the power of innovation and technology to accelerate conservation of the marine environment.

“Harnessing the diversity of powerful new technologies available today gives us the potential to fundamentally change the way we manage and sustain our oceans,” said WWF Senior Vice President for Oceans Brad Ack. “Today, by bringing together the conservation power of WWF and the innovation power of Conservation X Labs, along with many other partners, we can be deliberate in sourcing, developing and scaling promising technologies, linked to entrepreneurs, who together can turn the tide of ocean restoration efforts.”

Today, in cooperation with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, nine winners of the Blue Economy Challenge, its first program, were announced, providing about $2 million USD to bring to scale new ideas for sustainable fish-farming in the Indian Ocean.

The Blue Economy Challenge is a collaborative effort between WWF, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Conservation X Labs and SecondMuse and aims to alleviate ocean pressures by crowdsourcing new and innovative approaches. The first challenge specifically sought aquaculture innovations in the Indian Ocean, identifying initial ideas worth accelerating, ranging from using larvae from biowaste to produce fish feed to building a low-cost solar-powered fish farm-in-a-box.

“Oceans X Labs is about finding promising problem-solvers from all over the world and empowering them to design and build their solutions at scale,” said Alex Dehgan of Conservation X Labs. “Whether tackling pollution, ocean acidification, or improving the way we manage our fisheries, the sky, or the ocean rather, is the limit.”