Taiwanese Hackers Come to the Rescue of Languishing Fish Stocks

Taiwanese Hackers Come to the Rescue of Languishing Fish Stocks
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

Taiwanese hacking skills are helping to preserve global fish stocks.

Taiwanese hacking team Akubic scored a great catch at a U.S. competition earlier this month aimed at boosting the world’s languishing fish stocks.

The team was declared the winner at the annual Fishackathon held by the U.S. State Department and was awarded US$10,000 in prize money.

Fishackathon is a coding competition that seeks to use computer hacking to find solutions to sustainable fishery challenges. The 2016 event was held in more than 40 cities around the world. According to the American Institute in Taiwan, this year's competition attracted more than 2,000 engineers and 100 fishery consultants.

The team’s water-sensor system monitors the temperature and water flow in the Great Lakes, one of the world’s largest freshwater systems but home to a large number of invasive Asian carp. The carp, which can eat up to 40% of its body weight each day, endanger the survival of native species by threatening local food supplies.

Using the sensor, the population of Asian carp can be closely monitored. Becky Cudmore, Asian Carp Program Manager at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, says the innovation has the potential to become a low-cost solution to a worldwide problem. “It is essential for agencies with limited resources to maximize success in early detection of Asian carp,” Cudmore says.

Akubic told Taiwan's CommonWealth magazine that the group’s overall aim is to help increase the world’s fish stocks. It also anticipates helping boost Taiwan’s fish farming industry.

Ge Shi-hao (葛士豪), chief executive of Akubic, said the water sensor could also help increase the survival rate of young fish in aquafarms by more than 50%.