This year MiCO was recognized for their efforts to bridge the gap between science and policy. The Innovation Award recognizes the individual or group that has introduced innovative technologies and practices that help aid ocean conservation. Now in its fifth year, hosted by BOAT International and held in partnership with Blue Marine Foundation (one of the UK’s leading ocean conservation charities), the Ocean Awards continue to recognize and reward those that share their commitment to fixing the largest solvable problem on the planet – the crisis in our oceans. MiCO was honored with the 2020 Ocean Innovation Award among an outstanding group of finalists: Pelagic Data Systems, SafetyNet Technologies, PROTIX, and X Shore.

MiCO is enabling change. A consortium of more than 50 organizations and academic institutions, is dedicated to filling a major knowledge gap regarding global migratory routes and connected areas for marine mammal, seabird, sea turtle, and fish species. It is achieve by pooling research in order to build a broader overview of the routes by which species migrate in order to feed and reproduce, and the increasing anthropogenic pressures and stresses they face.

Since its launch at the United Nations during the 2019 Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, MiCO has analyzed tagging data of nearly 400 animals, tracking their movements through 17 “corridors” in about 100,000 locations across 55 countries. An ongoing literature review has already provided information on a further 133 connections between 109 nodes. When it is published later this year, the review will make information on migratory connectivity from more than 1,200 publications freely available online.

Marine species migrate vast distances throughout the ocean across international waters, which makes them hard to protect. MiCO system collects animal tracking data from around the world to better understand where species migrate and why. Through the open-access data, the MiCO system will provide knowledge on migratory connectivity that will be critical in conservation efforts of marine species in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

MiCO is honored to be recognized as this year’s Ocean Award for Innovation by Boat International and the Blue Marine Foundation. “We would not be here without the help of our sponsors, collaborators, and data-contributors! We look forward to working with everybody to continue to build the system out and create a truly comprehensive knowledge base of how migratory species use and connect the ocean. We hope you will join us!” said Daniel Dunn.

To read more about the 2020 Ocean Award Winners click here, and read the paper where it all began.