Alphabet (Google’s parent company) is famous for its ambitious projects, but its latest mission might be the biggest of all: protecting the sea and its aquatic inhabitants.
The new project, which is called Tidal, is starting with a camera system that can help fish farmers monitor and, hopefully, better understand every living creature inside their pens.
Why start here? According to Neil Davé, the general manager for Tidal, “Fish have a low carbon footprint relative to other sources of animal protein and they play a critical role in feeding 3 billion people today, so helping fish farmers could prove critical both for humanity and for the health of the ocean.”
Tidal’s solution is underwater cameras that, paired with some computer vision, are able to detect subtle and not-so-subtle fish behaviors like eating. That level of information, Davé explained, can help farmers make smarter and more environmentally-friendly decisions, “like how much food to put in the pens, which we hope can help reduce both costs and pollution.”
According to the Financial Times, Tidal is working with farms based in Europe and Asia to track fish species including salmon and yellowtail. Otherwise, we know little about the company’s testing and how close the technology is to being a polished and market-ready product. Tidal has specified, however, that their plans will not stop at fish farming as they aim to learn as much as possible about the ocean in order to develop technology and new solutions in order to protect it.
We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on Tidal’s progress in the coming years.