Bermuda to Host first Fishackathon

For Immediate Release

Calling All Coders, Designers & Fisheries Experts: Bermuda to Host First Fishackathon

Bermuda will be one of more than 40 locations worldwide to host “Fishackathon,” a two-day event on April 22-24 where techies and environmentalists of all ages are encouraged to join forces with their communities to create new applications and tools to address challenges related to sustainable fisheries worldwide. The event, which will be held at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), is part of the U.S. Department of State’s third annual Fishackathon.

Launched in 2014 around U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Our Ocean conference, Fishackathon was established to bring together coders, developers, designers, project managers, and fisheries experts of all ages. Their purpose? To create tools, applications, and systems to address challenges in sustainable fishing around the world. The pilot Fishackathon brought together coders in five U.S. cities. Fishackathon 2015 expanded to 12 cities worldwide, including hackathons in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

This year, participants at all 40+ host sites, including Bermuda, will be presented with several problem statements selected by the Fishackathon organizers from approximately 50 entries submitted by fisheries experts globally. Organizers and participants will not know the final challenges until the Fishackathon begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 22.

Participants will either individually or in self-organized teams of up to five people – select the problem statement on which they will focus throughout the weekend. They will present their work to a judging panel of local fishery experts, computer programmers, and sponsors at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24. The judges will nominate one winning team from the Bermuda event, who will then compete internationally for grand prizes, including $10,000 cash and a $25,000 seed development grant. Local prizes will go to first, second and third place winners. Judges will use standardized criteria to evaluate the impact, innovation, and interface of the applications created at each Fishackathon event.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime for Bermuda’s hackers to be involved in solving global environmental, economic and social issues through the use of technology. It also presents the opportunity to foster entrepreneurship in Bermuda’s growing IT and technology industries and support our local fishing and tourism sectors with solutions to promote sustainable use of Bermuda’s marine environment.

Register free for Fishackathon at http://www.fishackathon.co/hamilton/. Only the first 50 applicants will be accepted. All ages are invited to participate, although a signed parental permission slip will be required for those under the age of 16. All participants will be required to sign a BIOS waiver form. The event will run Friday, April 22 from 6:00 p.m.-midnight; Saturday, April 23 from 8:00 a.m.-midnight; and Sunday, April 24 from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Hanson Hall on the BIOS campus. Judging will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. Food and drinks will be provided at the BIOS cafeteria throughout the weekend, courtesy of Fishackathon sponsors. Forward any queries to BermudaFishackathon@state.gov or call 441- 295-1342 x 0.

The U.S. Consulate is partnering with a number of Bermuda-based organizations to plan and host the program, which will kick off Earth Day 2016. U.S. Consul General Mary Ellen Koenig said, “The Consulate is grateful to these government departments, local organizations, and sponsors for working with us to make this happen. Their knowledge, experience, and support will be critical as we move forward to implement the Fishackathon.”

Local partners include the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation; the Department of Ecommerce; the Department of Environmental Protection; the Sustainable Development Department; the Department of Conservation Services; the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ); the Bermuda Zoological Society; the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS); Greenrock; the Ocean Support Foundation (OSF); the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI); and the Fishermen’s Association of Bermuda (FAB).

Contact: Astrid Black U.S. Consulate Hamilton, Bermuda 278-7502 blackac@state.gov