Uniting and activating powerful voices for ocean conservation

How strong branding can be a force for good when it comes to ocean health

Tony Long

When I was asked to write a blog on how working with big brands can help ocean conservation, I asked, why me?

“Because you work with Google” was the essence of the reply. And that’s good enough for me, because, in a nutshell – Google has quite literally put Global Fishing Watch on the map.

So, is big brand association with conservation a must?

Google has been a fantastic partner to Oceana and Skytruth and, ultimately, to Global Fishing Watch. Working with Google comes with the reassurance that any technical solution they say is possible will be scoped out and put into action efficiently, and with high grade results. Global Fishing Watch is the perfect example of this.

Together with SkyTruth, their analysts and machine learning experts faced challenges requiring the processing power of thousands of machines – running models that would take 50 ordinary computers months to complete. Our public platform now reliably ingests the billions of data points that underlie our web-based map and presents an elegant and easy-to-navigate view of fishing activity around the planet. Every one of us can clearly see what is going on – what was once out-of-sight and out-of-mind is now in plain view for the world.

Google’s ocean engagement goes way beyond Global Fishing Watch, and it should be the subject of a blog in itself. They have engaged in broad stakeholder engagement across the sector and within the industry, and continue to invigorate the conversation. This is done through the work being put in place by the Google Earth Outreach team, leveraging Google’s expertise and resources to help non-profits and public benefit organisations make a difference and tell their story to hundreds of millions of people.

While Google confers a form of global credibility to technology-driven systems, there are other big brands out there that underline broader messages. Indeed, thanks to the profile Google provided to Global Fishing Watch, The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation stepped forward to support our vision, and as a result there was a further huge spike in interest. Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 2.54.30 PM

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