The Bull

Friday 18

January, 2019 6:21 AM



Blockchain set to bring down costs of ocean conservation

Blockchain set to bring down costs of ocean conservation

Australia finds itself in an interesting position when it comes to keeping the ocean fresh and clean. Not only does the Great Barrier Reef bring a great deal of money into the country from a tourism perspective, but as a large island surrounded by a

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By Nigel Frith 22.12.2018

Australia finds itself in an interesting position when it comes to keeping the ocean fresh and clean. Not only does the Great Barrier Reef bring a great deal of money into the country from a tourism perspective, but as a large island surrounded by a natural environment, Australia also becomes exposed to any changes in the ecosystem.

One of the overlooked aspects of intense fossil fuel usage appears to be how pollutants in the ocean can have a hugely negative impact on the life expectancy of the animals and lifeforms in the Great Barrier Reef. The expense involved in trying to maintain it has been a major problem so far.

With the advent of new technology offering up innovative solutions for more affordable costs, it seems that blockchain is now a potential savior of the reef in its current state.

The Australian government has already committed $377m in funding to help preserve the Great Barrier Reef, but up until now, there have been concerns that this money would not go far enough without enough data on where to begin using it.

Instead of all the funding going toward wasted energies and trial-and-error methodology, it is now likely that blockchain solutions will help fill in some of the data gaps and connect with the partners involved in these efforts.

This should be of much benefit because a supply chain can now be in place for all those who are undertaking research. Instead of people working on separate projects that require several linking processes to bring everything together, blockchain can allow all data to link up immediately and transparently so that companies working on conservation can all make a more useful difference.

At present, the warming oceans in and around Australia are starting to bleach the reef, and this has become much more noticeable in the last decade. By not acting, Australia risks losing a source of $4.8bn worth of tourism and positive input to the economy, which also involves 64,000 jobs that exist because of the attraction to the reef.

On this basis, there is little wonder why the government is so eager to step in and increase conservation efforts, but as of yet, little consensus has occurred on what exactly should happen besides preventing pollution. However, because there is a strong argument to suggest that much damage has already taken place, there needs to be a way to help bring the Great Barrier Reef back to its former glory and keep it healthy for decades to come.

The reef itself actually comprises 3,863 smaller reefs, but recent research indicates that nearly a third of these have already died off, which makes speeding up the process of fixing the situation even more vital.

One of the blockchain consultants involved is HashCash Consultants, which is planning to use its distributed ledger technology (DLT) to work with fisheries and canning centers that have previously not been making their data available to help with conservation efforts. Better data sets are reliant on receiving as wide a view as possible, and the hope is that with the level of technology available, the reef will now be in a better position.

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