Pelagic Data Systems Represents Mission of Sustainable Oceans at First-Ever Unreasonable Goals Program

August 11, 2017 – Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) brought its innovative vessel tracking technology to last month’s Unreasonable Goals accelerator program, where entrepreneurs and advocates from around the world met to address some of the world’s most pressing development problems.

In its inaugural year, Unreasonable Goals is a collaboration between the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships and Unreasonable Group, an organization that connects entrepreneurs to the resources they need to solve key global challenges. PDS was one of 16 organizations invited to share their solutions for meeting the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015.

PDS presented on Goal 14, “Life Below Water,” which aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans and marine resources. With its lightweight, solar-powered Vessel Tracking System (VTS), PDS is helping to stamp out illegal fishing and conserve fish stocks for the oceans and for fishermen. Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the world’s fish stocks could ultimately lift millions of people out of poverty

“We’re inspired by our amazing fellow ‘Unreasonable’ entrepreneurs, and grateful for this program that is helping each of us maximize our impact,” said PDS CEO Dave Solomon. “Unreasonable Goals will help jumpstart the global community towards achieving the SDGs, including the need to safeguard our oceans and conserve marine resources.”  

Worldwide, an estimated 675 million people work in capture fisheries, providing livelihoods in some of the poorest parts of the world while generating $129 billion in exports. But many of these fisheries are poorly managed or overexploited, preventing them from reaching their full potential and jeopardizing their future as a source of food and income. 

This is especially true of the nearly 5 million boats that operate in small-scale and artisanal fisheries, which are too often poorly monitored and poorly regulated. Effectively monitoring and managing these fisheries has the potential to lift millions out of poverty, while preserving resources for future generations.

At Unreasonable Goals, which ran from July 2-13 at the Aspen Institute Wye River Estate in Queenstown, Maryland, Mr. Solomon presented on how PDS’s tracking system can improve transparency and accountability in global fisheries. Already operating in 11 countries, the VTS is a durable and affordable way to monitor vessels of any size. When deployed at sea, it gathers vital information on where, when, and how boats fish, and helps regulators and consumers alike determine where their seafood comes from.

“If we get this right, we can lift a huge number of people out of poverty,” said Mr. Solomon. “By gathering the right data and using it to make the right decisions, we can dramatically improve the health of our oceans and the wellbeing of those who depend on them.”