New inventions to preserve the oceans


by Esteban Tejedor

Posted on October 14, 2020

New inventions to preserve the oceans

Seven-tenths of the world is covered by oceans. They put food on our plates, provide up to 50% of the oxygen we breathe and regulate the climate.

Fortunately, there are people working in new technologies that can help keep our oceans healthy. Let's see some examples:


A machine that traps plastic before it reaches the ocean

The technology company Ichthion is developing a system to extract plastic waste from rivers, as these play a very important role in sweeping tons of waste from land to sea. The device sits on the surface of a river and diverts floating objects to the banks of the river, where a conveyor belt lifts them and passes them through a chamber. An artificial intelligence algorithm then recognises the shapes and colours of different brands of plastics and packaging, allowing researchers to determine where the trash comes from and which types of plastics are the most common.


Ocean cleaning systems

Dutch scientists have created a huge floating device to clean an island of garbage in the Pacific Ocean. The 600-meter long floating barrier has captured and held debris from what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A device of this type is really necessary for our days, considering each year between 600,000 and 800,000 metric tons of fishing utensils are abandoned or lost at sea and more than 8 million tons of plastic waste flow from the beaches.

This vast cleaning system is designed not only to collect discarded fishing nets and large visible plastic objects but also microplastics. The plastic barrier that floats on the surface of the sea has a three-meter-deep screen designed to catch pieces of plastic without disturbing the marine life below. The device is equipped with transmitters and sensors so that it can communicate its position via satellites to a ship that will collect the garbage collected every few months.


Marine drones that roam the ocean collecting data

Saildrone's 7-meter long autonomous vessels can sail continuously for up to a year on solar and wind power alone, transporting state-of-the-art ocean sensors in the parts of our ocean that we know less about and unlocking new information. There are already more than twenty of them in the sea and the network is growing. You can watch the following video to know more about it:


These are some of the examples that we can find in which technology is at the service of our oceans. But there are many, many more. Initiatives multiply as the situation is becoming increasingly worrying. Let's save the oceans!

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