The ocean is facing catastrophic biodiversity decline. Coastal communities, primarily in developing countries, are lacking incentives to protect marine wildlife and continue to kill endangered species in order to make a living.
In the past it has been difficult to accurately value living marine animals, due to a lack of practical methodology and tools. And, while ecosystem services payments are mainly related to earnings from tourism or fishing activities, the high capital and specialised nature of the tourism industry means that these profits do not necessarily benefit and create value for the traditional stewards of these animals – the coastal community members.
The coastal communities can clearly see the monetary value of fishing and hunting, so they often continue these activities, even if they are outlawed or in marine protected areas. There is a lack of incentives and opportunities to monetise marine animals in other ways.
Ocean Eye is a technological innovation that will not only help put a real monetary value on living marine animals, but also transfer that value directly and securely to coastal communities.
The app will enable people living in coastal communities and working in tourism to make money from sightings of marine animal – this will create a powerful incentive to protect these animals instead of monetising them in the short-term through fishing and hunting.
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