Blue Bot Project uses AI for Sustainable Fishing and Protection of Coral Reefs

Bajan Digital Creations Inc., through its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Antonio Hollingsworth, entered the Blue Bot Project in the recently concluded Oceans Challenge hosted by Export Barbados (BIDC) and Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility. Hollingsworth says the Blue Bot Project provides a different way of looking at coral reefs and is a revolutionary way to monetize coral reef resources.

He said that while a coral reef is typically considered a food larder, a diving experience, a carbon sink and a tourist attraction, it is so much more. He described coral reefs as oases for tropical ocean deserts and rich sources of marine data. Mining this data, Hollingsworth said, will:

  • create new jobs, and
  • generate the raw information needed to build the marine artificial intelligence (AI) that ocean states need to mitigate the climate crisis. 

Hollingsworth revealed that the project uses locally developed AI to extract data from underwater videos. He further disclosed that the AI could be trained to scan the videos for spiny lobsters and conch, which are exportable; sea urchins, which are in danger; and lionfish, which are invasive. The CEO added that the Blue Bot Project:

  • incentivizes better marine resource management by harmonizing the fishing and technology sectors
  • makes the Blue Economy more attractive to young people
  • strengthens the collective voices and perception of artisanal fisherfolk, and 
  • creates an environment for new business opportunities in the Blue Economy to emerge

The CEO also spoke of the company’s internship program’s success, which helps build technology capacity of young people. One of their interns is about to commence studies at the Barbados Community College. The intern will graduate from secondary school with co-published work and an established technology portfolio, including experience training and working with AI.