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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hackers invade FAO headquarters

Last Friday, a group of Italian and international hackers literally invaded headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome for a United States (US)- government-sponsored ‘Fishackathon’ reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Fishackathon, NaijaAgroNet reports, was aimed at cooking up high-tech solutions to problems that have long plagued fishing communities around the globe.

The Assistant Director-General of FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Árni M. Mathiesen, said that working in teams in a marathon hacking session, the group of around 30 coders, technology students, developers and designers will be asked to harness FAO data to develop creative mobile applications, systems, and tools to help tackle key challenges facing sustainable fisheries.

Mathiesen also said that these range from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, to overfishing and degradation of fishing grounds, to post harvest losses of catches.

Teams of 2-8 people joined forces to brainstorm solutions that responses to one of nine fisheries-related problem statements to be provided.

On Sunday, FAO experts would judge the submissions and one team will be chosen as the winner.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the exercise now in its third year, the Fishackathon was first launched in 2014 by US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Our Oceans conference is an event taking place in 40 cities around the globe.

The winners of each, including this weekend's Italian edition, will move forward into a global contest whose final outcome will be announced by the US government on June 8 at World Oceans Day 2016.

Last year's Fishackathon winners included a game to teach children about sustainable fishing, an app to help consumers find and eat sustainable seafood, and a reporting tool for marine mammal protection.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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