Marine 🛥

How the marine industry uses technology to its benefits
May 26, 2023

‍In today’s climate and global warming risks, it’s very important to understand the relevance of marine life and industry in our world. The industry has a direct impact on much of our everyday life, from what we eat to what we buy and consume.

As most goods travel by sea, marine lands also preserve most of our resources, from the food we eat, to the oil we need and the minerals that power our body.

This article will explore what the marine industry uses, why it needs technology and how it implements it today.

What is the marine industry?

The marine industry covers everything relating to the sea and the oceans. Due to the enormous growth of world population and the subsequent increase of energy needs, the need for offshore exploration and production of hydrocarbons has skyrocketed. Exploration, drilling, storage and transportation techniques have given us access to greater energy production means.

The cruise industry has also grown, by reaching populations worldwide and being more accessible.  The sector has reached enormous significance in the global economy, with more and more cruises and recreational ships leaving from a larger number and variety of ports around the world.

The industry also has certain norms and design requirements relevant to seakeeping, capsizing, station-keeping, and random motions and loads in a hostile environment. This makes manufacturing much more expensive and challenging as everything has to be weather and waterproof.

To get a sense of how important the industry is, about 74% of the world’s trade is now carried by ships. Considering the U.S., about 60% of its energy is imported by ships, and 95% of its international trade is transported by ship.

The industry has experienced a great deal of development thanks to the cruise and energy sectors but it still serves more traditional sectors like fishing.

Why is the marine industry using technology to boost their business?

Now that we understand what the industry is, let’s look at why technology matters to it.

  • Understanding

Researchers now focus on the effects of global warming, as the global temperature seems to rise continuously, this has a notable effect on the marine environment. One of the key reasons why technology is relevant to the industry is to try and understand this environment better.

This might be through models that determine the influence of global warming on our marine environments or observations on Co2 levels on our oceans. All these aspects interest scientists but also businesses in the industry as it has a direct effect on our lives.

For example global warming has made the ocean’s level rise, the process happens when the icebergs in the north pole melt. This has many implications, bad and good, one of which is the creation of a new commercial route in the arctic ocean where ships can now travel from Russia to Canada and the US without facing icebergs and the risk of sinking.

Technology also helps people understand where their resources are and how to best manage them so that they can last.

  • Overview

As in most complex systems and industries, having a bigger picture and having an overview of what happens is extremely beneficial. Technology helps achieve this by accumulating several sensors and bringing together data from all around the world to create an accurate map of our oceans.

To the energy sector, this is precious because it allows them to understand where to prioritize their efforts and use their resources to the best of their abilities. The cruise sector also benefits as they gain a deeper understanding of  what makes their business flourish and what seems to be lacking, where they have to deepen their efforts.

To scientists and fishermen, this technology helps track the wildlife and develop various zones that might prohibit the fishing of certain fishes to preserve them. This overview helps us understand the ongoing trends in the ecosystem and how to best maintain them.

How is technology being leveraged in the marine industry?

Now that we understand why technology is relevant to the marine industry, let’s look at several technologies that they put in place.

  • Aquaculture

Aquaculture is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of fish, shellfish, algae, and other organisms in all types of environments. This is used to produce food, restore habitats, replenish wild stocks and rebuild populations of endangered species.

Aquaculture relies on several systems that make sure the conditions are just right for the species being raised. Sensors check the pH of the water, the temperature, and the currents to make sure that the conditions are as similar as possible to what the species is used to.

As the demand for seafood is rising and the amount of captured wild fish is declining each year, aquaculture is growing in importance and the processes are constantly being developed to increase production, find better ways of raising the wildlife, and make it cheaper.

As automation and technology develop further, the market is set to grow even further, in 2020, the market was estimated at $204 billion.

  • Satellites

Satellites represent the main technological tool for simulating, modeling, and observing the marine environment. Most of this technology is financed by governments as it has a direct impact on people’s lives and their well-being.

Satellites help the industry acquire precise and worldwide data on temperature, Co2 levels, currents, depth, and much more. All these parameters help the industry create models to understand the current state of our oceans, model what it will look like in a couple of years and what impact our human actions have on it.

As the marine environment is extremely fragile, the industry is constantly trying to understand how to preserve it and if there are ways of balancing their acts.

The marine industry has been around since the dawn of time, it works in a very rough environment where everything has to be specifically made to resist this environment. A large part of the industry tries to understand the state of the ocean, where the resources are ,and how to manage them. Satellites and aquaculture appear to be two promising domains that can help the industry preserve and understand its resources.

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