Imagen: Huawei

Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA) Ireland and Huawei Ireland have released the latest key findings on protecting marine life in Ireland discovered during their joint work on the Smart Whales Sound project.

The announcement took place during the OceanTech Summit held at the Irish Castle in Baltimore.

According to the joint study, the shipping routes of the Celtic Sea, south of Ireland, contribute significantly to noise pollution in the marine environment. Previous research has shown that ocean noise can affect a multitude of marine species, such as seals, fish and even squid. And it can threaten the survival of whales.

So far, the real-time multispecies detection system has been shown to have practical implications for marine conservation. Thanks to its new acoustic data acquisition system, it can warn ships in real time that are in areas where there are whales. The system could assist in the planning of key marine infrastructure, such as offshore renewable energy facilities, to minimize the acoustic impact on marine life during the construction phase.

Emer Keaveney, co-founder and chief executive of ORCA Ireland, said: “Noise from shipping and other human activities in our waters can have a seriously detrimental impact on marine life such as whales and dolphins. Ship noise, such as the hum of a container ship, can mask whale calls, affect the animals’ communication and important life strategies such as coordinated feeding, or displace animals from important habitats.

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“Recent technological advances offer increasing opportunities to use these innovations for good and to improve our understanding of the natural world. To achieve this, we are using the [plataforma de desarrollo de IA] “Huawei ModelArts and cloud storage, coupled with machine learning, to automate wildlife tracking for marine conservation.”

According to the joint study, the maritime routes of the Celtic Sea, south of Ireland, contribute significantly to noise pollution of the marine environment

Luis Neves, CEO of the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative commented: “The work of capturing sound in the oceans and harnessing the power of AI and big data analytics to improve our understanding of marine ecology and its complex interactions with various threats is of utmost importance. This effort not only facilitates broader public engagement, but also reinforces the effectiveness of conservation initiatives, ultimately contributing to the survival and well-being of marine species. “At GeSI we are proud that our member Huawei is taking the lead and using its innovations and sophisticated AI/deep learning models to automatically detect and identify cetacean species and therefore support the conservation of dolphins and whales.”

Luke McDonnell, Head of Public Relations at Huawei Ireland, said: “Huawei believes that no one should be left behind in the digital world and we have made it our mission to put digital inclusion front and center of our business.

In addition to environmental protection, we believe that digital technologies also play a key role in many other areas. Digital technologies such as AI, cloud and 5G are being rapidly integrated and widely applied in different sectors. “This is facilitating digital transformation and sustainable socioeconomic development, and bringing tangible benefits to society as a whole.”

As of March 2021, the ORCA Ireland Smart Whale Sounds project is being carried out in collaboration with Rainforest Connection (RFCx), and supported by Huawei Ireland through the TECH4ALL initiative, as the first marine bioacoustics study in real time in Ireland. Preliminary analyzes suggest that the south coast of Ireland is a “hot spot” for cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). Cetaceans make up almost half of all animals within Ireland’s sea and land borders. Worldwide, marine mammals make up one-third of land animals.


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