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Award Winning Project Helps In Hunting Illegal Fishing

Illegal fishing and overfishing deplete fish stocks worldwide,

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Fish are seen in a fish market near the canal of Port Said, Egypt, March 18, 2018.
Fish are seen in a fish market near the canal of Port Said, Egypt, March 18, 2018. VOA

Drones guided by artificial intelligence to catch boats netting fish where they shouldn’t were among the winners of a marine protection award on Friday and could soon be deployed to fight illegal fishing, organizers said.

The award-winning project aims to help authorities hunt down illegal fishing boats using drones fitted with cameras that can monitor large swaths of water autonomously.

Illegal fishing and overfishing deplete fish stocks worldwide, causing billions of dollars in losses a year and threatening the livelihoods of rural coastal communities, according to the United Nations.

The National Geographic Society awarded the project, co-developed by Morocco-based company ATLAN Space, and two other innovations $150,000 each to implement their plans as it marked World Oceans Day on Friday.

The aircraft can cover a range of up to 700 km (435 miles) and use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to drive them in search of fishing vessels, said ATLAN Space’s founder, Badr Idrissi.

“Once (the drone) detects something, it goes there and identifies what it’s seeing,” Idrissi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

Idrissi said the technology, which is to be piloted in the Seychelles later this year, was more effective than traditional sea patrols and allowed coast guards to save money and time.

From satellites tracking trawlers on the high seas to computer algorithms identifying illegal behaviors, new technologies are increasingly coming to the aid of coast guards worldwide.

The head of a model fish is seen hanging in front a banner during a protest against overfishing outside the European Union Council in Brussels, May 13, 2013.
The head of a model fish is seen hanging in front a banner during a protest against overfishing outside the European Union Council in Brussels, May 13, 2013. VOA

AI allows the drones to check a boat’s identification number, establish whether it is fishing inside a protected area or without permit, verify whether it is known to authorities and count people on board, Idrissi said.

If something appears to be wrong, it can alert authorities.

Other winners were Marine Conservation Cambodia, which uses underwater concrete blocks to impede the use of bottom-dragged nets, and U.S.-based Pelagic Data Systems, which plans to combat illegal fishing in Thailand with tracking technologies.

“The innovations from the three winning teams have the potential to greatly increase sustainable fishing in coastal systems,” National Geographic Society’s chief scientist Jonathan Baillie said in a statement.

Much of the world’s fish stocks are overfished or fully exploited, according the U.N. food agency, and fish consumption rose above 20 kilograms per person in 2016 for the first time.

Fish swim in the Mediterranean sea on the south coast of the Balearic island of Mallorca, Spain.
Fish swim in the Mediterranean sea on the south coast of the Balearic island of Mallorca, Spain. VOA

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Global marine catches have declined by 1.2 million tons a year since 1996, according to The Sea Around Us, a research initiative involving the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Australia. (VOA)

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India’s Cooperation With Russia For AI Innovation May Reach Level of Strategic Sector Soon

Zyfra has been facilitating industrial manufacturers in India with AI and IIoT-based solutions

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Zyfra has been facilitating industrial manufacturers in India with AI and IIoT-based solutions. Pixabay

 Finnish-Russian digital solutions provider Zyfra said on Sunday that there are good prospects of cooperation in the field of industrial artificial intelligence (AI) that would take innovation, in some years, to the same level of cooperation seen in strategic sectors like defence and nuclear energy.

India has become a key foreign market for Zyfra which develops turnkey solutions for digital transformation and enhancing operational efficiency in industries like mining, oil and gas, machinery and metallurgy across the globe.

Responding to queries here, Zyfra Director of Business Development Alexander Smolensky that private companies have a distinct advantage in the area of innovation.

“There are undoubtedly prospects for cooperation between Russian and Indian companies in the area of industrial artificial intelligence. India is an industrial power with a long history and extensive experience of IT development. India is very interested in innovation, and we’re ‘eeing that from both government agencies, as well as companies. We are seeing high demand for digitalisation from Indian companies,” he said.

“Military and technical cooperation and nuclear energy form significant part of the government agenda. In innovation, it’s a’out private business which have a distinct advantage in that we don’t h’ve to adhere to the state agenda. Indian clients choose Zyfra products because we offer unique solutions which increase production efficiency, not because our countries are strategic partners,” Smolensky said.

He also said that Indo-Russian cooperation in innovation would get a boost if local production of hardware in India is increased for meeting the needs of the domestic market.

“As a first step and from our point of view, I would suggest producing the hardware in India for the domestic market and then deal with Russian software. For example, currently, we also have to find international hardware in India, or even export it. This is not very convenient, is relatively expensive and is not in the interests of either party in the long term,” he said.

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Finnish-Russian digital solutions provider Zyfra said on Sunday that there are good prospects of cooperation in the field of industrial artificial intelligence (AI) that would take innovation, in some years, to the same level of cooperation seen in strategic sectors like defence and nuclear energy. Pixabay

“Secondly, India has brilliant mathematicians and IT developers. We’re ‘nterested in forging strong partnerships in India, which could team Zyfra solutions with local know-how, including technological processes. Essentially, we’re ‘eady to transfer base technology and tools so that our Indian partners can transform that into an end product geared towards the local market,” he added.

Last year, Zyfra connected 500 computerised numerical control (CNC) machines in India to its MDCplus real-time machine monitoring and manufacturing data collection systems, and plans to connect another 1,000 such machines this year.

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Zyfra has been facilitating industrial manufacturers in India with AI and IIoT-based solutions, while in December last, the Odisha-based Earthmovers awarded Zyfra a contract to implement an “intelligent mine” solution at the Pakri Barwadih coal mining project in Jharkhand. (IANS)