An app that will help wild fisheries achieve sustainable operations using Copernicus Sentinel-3 data took home the top prize at this year’s Space App Camp at ESA’s Earth observation centre in Frascati, Italy.
Following a selection from about 100 applications, 24 developers from nine countries attended the 8th edition of the App Camp.
The goal was to come up with innovative and off the beaten track ideas for apps using Earth-monitoring data – particularly from the European Copernicus programme – and make satellite information accessible to the everyday user through smartphones.
Each of the six teams had a week to create an app from one of five categories: smart farming, sustainable development, future living, smart cities and digital transport.
The week-long camp culminated with presentations of the six projects to a jury, followed by an inspiring presentation by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli who detailed his journey of becoming an astronaut and the importance of observing our Earth from space.
The Norwegian winning team, which was participating as winner of the ESA prize at the 2019 FOSS4G hackathon in Bucharest, developed the Vake | Catch App, which will help fisheries be more efficient and optimise catch quotas, as well as help governments stop unregistered and unregulated fishing worldwide.
Combining Copernicus Sentinel-3 data with actual numbers on catch in Norwegian waters will result in better visualisations and predictions on the correlations between chlorophyll and sea temperatures with how fish swim through the ocean and how abundant they are.
Adrian Tofting, one of the winners commented, “The project will complement and promote sustainable fishing – the app would be great for authorities to find where illegal fishing is taking place.”
Lars Berg-Jensen, another winner, adds, “We are so grateful to participate in this FOSS4G challenge, which brought us to Frascati. We know ESA and the Copernicus programme well, and being here and meeting key people at ESA was a great opportunity.”
The winners took away a cash prize of €2500 and all teams were encouraged to apply to one of ESA’s Business Incubation Centres to develop their ideas further.
The first prize was awarded by ESA’s Copernicus Policy Coordinator, Thomas Beer. He says, “I would like to thank everyone who made this happen. From all the App Camps I have seen, this one was exceptional owing to the overall quality of the ideas and the team spirit I experienced this week.”