SPACEWHALE uses up-to-date space technology and artificial intelligence to detect large whales in satellite imagery. The collected data help designating new marine protected areas.
From more than 1200 applications received, BioConsult SH and its service are now one of the selected finalists for Cohort 6 of the Expo Live Innovation Programme.
This is associated with a grant of 50,000 USD. With this money, the SPACEWHALE team wants to evaluate satellite imagery of an area with no or only few information available on the whale population.
“With SPACEWHALE, we can provide data from regions that are too remote to explore by ship or plane,” says Dr Georg Nehls, managing director of BioConsult SH. To count whales in the satellite imagery, the SPACEWHALE team developed an algorithm that is based on artificial intelligence.
“Where there are many whales, there is often also a high level of biodiversity,” Nehls continues. The studies on the number and distribution of whales will therefore serve as a basis for the designation of new marine protected areas. With this mission, they are following up on last year's UN Biodiversity Conference resolution to designate at least 30 % of the world's oceans as marine protected areas by 2030. “So our data is currently more important than ever,” Georg Nehls emphasises.
In addition to the financial grant, BioConsult SH is invited to present SPACEWHALE at the upcoming 28th UN Climate Change Conference.
“We are excited about the international recognition our work is receiving and the opportunity to connect with an international network of global leaders, companies and visitors,“ says Julika Voß, SPACEWHALE project lead.
Already in June last year, SPACEWHALE was named a champion of the GRAVITY Challenge by Deloitte and the environmental organisation “Whale and Dolphin Conservation” and in January this year the winner of the Ocean Data Challenge of the World Economic Forum.
Please refer to the website of the service for further information www.spacewhales.de.