This semester, I will hopefully be working with a group of computer science students from my university in order to bring this project to life. Recently, I put together a brief outline of the project to help them better understand the scope and importance of the project. If you read this, would you be interested in signing up?
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, 51% of all fish species are found in freshwater, and over ⅓ of freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction. Over 60 million people rely on fish either as a livelihood or a source of food, and freshwater biodiversity is key to maintaining healthy ecosystems. Given all this information, it’s shocking that there are not enough conservation efforts dedicated to protecting freshwater fish.
After interviewing employees at the Australian Fish and Wildlife Services, Colorado Fish and Wildlife Services, Colorado Hatcheries, US Fish and Wildlife Services, and IUCN, it is clear that a program needs to be developed which allows the concise sharing of information, networking, and providing a centralized platform for freshwater conservation.
1. What is the problem?
1/3 of freshwater fish species are facing extinction and currently, there is not enough coordination between entities and efforts to save them.
2. Who does it affect?
200 million people rely on freshwater fish as a source of food, and around 60 million rely on freshwater fish as a source of income. Additionally, the loss of aquatic biodiversity can lead to the loss of up to 84% of fauna biodiversity in the surrounding areas. Aquatic species also help maintain the natural water flow and plant biodiversity, which when changed, can lead to soil erosion, flooding, and other natural disasters.
3. How would my solution fix the problem?
The proposed database would fix the problem by implementing a centralized network for information sharing and communication among conservation efforts, as well as linking the general public. Raising awareness and allowing information to be readily accessible would help increase the number of people working with each species as well as the efficiency with which they work.