Collecting trash from US waters

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Four million American anglers mobilized in crowdsourced effort to collect data and trash from US waters this Independence Day

This Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4, 2018, Keep America Beautiful (www.kab.org), the nonprofit steward of litter prevention for more than six decades, is partnering with Fishbrain (www.fishbrain.com), the world’s most popular mobile app and social network for people who love fishing, to ask the app’s over 4 million US users to undertake the largest-ever one-day crowdsourced audit of litter in the US.

The collaboration between Keep America Beautiful and Fishbrain, which was inspired by users removing and photographing trash during their everyday angling, harnesses the popularity of fishing on the Fourth of July; a day when anglers traditionally fish in high volumes. Using the hashtag ‘#trashoftheday’ and Fishbrain’s geolocation features, users of the app will be encouraged to remove littered items they encounter while fishing and upload images.

The data collected about volumes and locations of trash in America’s waterways, lakes, and shorelines will allow Keep America Beautiful to better understand the composition of litter in waterways around the country, so their nationwide teams of local volunteers can more effectively focus litter removal and prevention efforts.

Turning the tide on trash

Research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that almost 80% of ‘aquatic trash’ is made up of consumer goods, with the amount more than doubling between 1960 and 2013. The pollution of water by plastics has become an increasing concern throughout 2018, with further scientific research showing its detrimental effects on the environment, wildlife, and even human health.

Fishbrain users will be looking to reverse this trend through their trash-logging efforts - with users asked to keep an eye out for the following list of items (as suggested by Keep America Beautiful):

  • Cigarette butts
  • Paper items
  • Plastic beverage containers
  • Bottle caps
  • Plastic straws
  • Plastic bags
  • Glass beverage containers
  • Metal beverage containers
  • Other plastic items (e.g. plastic cups and plates)

Speaking on the partnership, Johan Attby, CEO of Fishbrain, comments: “Our users love nature, and are committed to looking after the American countryside that we all treasure. With this in mind, it’s an honour to work with the folks at Keep America Beautiful to help tidy up waterways across the country. To harness technology in this way, and to engage with a community already out and about fishing on the Fourth of July, should have some beautiful consequences and we can’t wait for lots of anglers to heed our call!”


“Much of the current discussion about the scourge of marine debris is related to reducing and preventing land-based litter – and particularly plastics – from reaching our oceans,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO, Helen Lowman. “Our partnership with Fishbrain and its millions of fishing enthusiasts will help identify litter hot spots ‘upstream,’ while focusing our collective attention on keeping our waterways cleaner and more beautiful for all of us to enjoy.”

About Keep America Beautiful (www.kab.org)

Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a community that is clean, green and beautiful, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.

About Fishbrain (www.fishbrain.com)

Fishbrain is the world’s most popular mobile app and social network for people who love fishing. Depended upon by more than five million people across the globe, the free-to-use app helps create the best possible fishing experience by providing everyone - whether beginner or pro - with the tools, insights, and support to fully enjoy the world’s most popular hobby.  

The app’s interactive map helps anglers find hot new fishing spots and see what other people are catching, with what bait and specifically where. With other features like Fish Species Recognition, marine mapping (provided by C-MAP), forecasts, bait recommendations and more, Fishbrain has become one of the most valuable and rewarding tools in a fisherman’s tackle box.

Fishbrain values responsible fishing, supporting a catch and release approach and the sustainable harvest of fish species, as well as the tracking of rare and endangered species through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Wildlife Commission.

 

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Exclusive Partnership with Casio

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Exclusive: Fishbrain announces the Casio Pro Trek smart WSD-F20 wearable app

IN AN EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH CASIO, FISHBRAIN HAS ANNOUNCED THAT A WEARABLE VERSION OF THEIR APP IS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE CASIO PRO TREK SMART WSD-F20.

Fishbrain, the world’s most popular fishing app and veritable social network for the angling community with over 4 million users, has announced an exclusive partnership with Casio—one of the world’s foremost watch makers—to provide an integrated system in their new Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20.

This system will bring the fishing community’s own shared information on such items as fishing data, interactive maps, and up-to-date location information in the form of a smartwatch.

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Fishbrain CEO Johan Attby said that, “The Pro Trek Smart is the definitive smartwatch for the outdoors enthusiast, so when Casio approached us about adding Fishbrain’s exhaustive fishing intelligence to their collection of smartwatch apps, we thought it was as a perfect fit.”

Crowdsourcing for Conservation

Hold onto your wide-brimmed fishing hats: Fishbrain and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have teamed up to use the power of crowdsourced app data for conservation.

How it works is simple: (1) Fishbrain anglers log sightings of endangered species in the app; (2) Fishbrain shares the information with the USFWS; (3) the USFWS then uses the information to build a much more comprehensive picture of the field situation for endangered animals. 

This project means that you have a chance to contribute to the conservation of endangered species. Just go fishing, keep your eyes peeled for endangered animals, and capture the Moments that count with Fishbrain.

There's more to this project. A lot more. You might want to know which 50 aquatic species are on the endangered list, for starters. Lucky for you, this is where you get more information. (And that's also where you see a lot more awesome pictures.) 

Announcing a new biodiversity and conservation partnership...

What: Fishbrain and the University of Texas have teamed up on a biodiversity and conservation project called Fishes of Texas. This is a project gathering into a single database crucial information about fish species in Texas, its surrounding U.S. states, and northern Mexico. 

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And in a first, Fishbrain is providing crowdsourced catch data from its passionate Texas anglers to biodiversity and conservation researchers at the University of Texas.

Why it's important: Conservation and planning, that's why. Using real-time catch data, researchers on the project can build a far more accurate picture of the biodiversity situation in Texas waters. They can also see how climate change is impacting fish species. 

That information, in turn, allows scientists to make better conservation recommendations. It's a win-win-win - for anglers, for Texas game fish, and for scientists working on the project.

How you can take part:

Step 1: Go fishing in Texas.

Step 2: Log a Texas catch in Fishbrain.

Step 3: Repeat.

With over 50,000 Texas catches logged in Fishbrain already, and with the ease with which the angling community can participate, it's a fantastic partnership.

Read more about the Fishes of Texas project...

Read more about Fishbrain...

Press Release Below

Angling app provides species data to University’s Biodiversity Collections

FishBrain (www.fishbrain.com), the world’s largest free-to-use app and social network for anglers, has partnered with the University of Texas’ Biodiversity Collections (https://integrativebio.utexas.edu/biodiversity-collections/collections/ichthyology-fish) and its Fishes of Texas project (http://www.fishesoftexas.org), to provide app-powered, crowdsourced data to aid in conservation and academic research in southern U.S. and northern Mexico states.

As the first ever example of an app assisting a regional biodiversity project for data-collection, FishBrain, which has 1.4 million users in the US and over 130,000 users in Texas (its second most-popular state), will provide crowdsourced user-data directly to the Fishes of Texas project database for academic research and species-conservation. The rigorously-administrated database, used to determine the prevalence and locations of certain species of fish, has, until now, been composed of strictly museum specimen data.

For more information, and to find out how to help the project, go to www.fishbrain.com

Anglers typically focus on game species, which often grow very large in size. Scientific collecting, however, has very different tendencies, usually toward smaller species collected as part of specific research goals. Therefore, FishBrain’s data are highly complementary to the museum data. For example, Rainbow Trout are only represented by a meager 24 observations among the museum data, but has 342 observations in the FishBrain database. Those data are a vital tool in understanding when and where species are actually going and how long populations persist. With other crowdsourced data there would almost certainly be errors in ID, as many anglers are not well trained in fish ID. However, because FishBrain users submit photos of their catches, scientists can verify the identifications.

The authors of the Fishes of Texas project and FishBrain will co-publish a scientific paper detailing the relationship, and the app’s use as a valuable scientific resource. The data are expected to be used frequently by scientists, and will also be made available to the public.

As well as providing pre-existing data from the 50,000+ catches in Texas already, FishBrain will be making the project widely known to its user-base, and asking it to collect conservation-relevant data also in Texas’ neighbouring states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana in the US; and Tamaulipas, Nuevo Léon, Coahuila, and Chihuahua in Mexico).

Adam Cohen, University of Texas, Biodiversity Collections, Ichthyology Collection Manager, and Fishes of Texas Project co-author, comments: “Historically, we’ve always focused on museum data, but we are excited to branch out and use the highly-complimentary FishBrain data alongside our existing museum data. Along with data from Texas’ agency databases, scientific literature and other citizen science sources, we are hoping to make the Fishes of Texas Project database an exceptional and unique resource for studying fishes in our region. With enough data, we will be able to much better document how species’ ranges are changing over time, in a scientifically defensible way.”

Johan Attby, CEO of FishBrain, comments: “We're proud to be part of such a significant milestone in the relationship between technology and academia. Texas and the surrounding states make-up a significant part of our userbase, and so the preservation and study of the area’s aquatic life is very important to us. We see tech playing an ever-increasing role in academia in the future and, with our big data capabilities, we are proud to be part of the vanguard helping to make this happen. Being able to offer a unique boost to a rigorously scientific and productive project like the Fishes of Texas, which is also so relevant to the biodiversity we all care so much about, is a real statement about the potential, and future, of technology and conservation.”

Download links:

About The Fishes of Texas Project

The Fishes of Texas Project, based in the University of Texas’ Biodiversity Collections’ Ichthyology Collection, addresses a long-needed effort to bring together in one database the worldwide museum holdings on the fish species of Texas (currently from 42 institutions and counting). These specimen-based data are the highest quality available, since they are verifiable via specimens and original documentation. Until this project, museum data has only been disparate, incompatible and, sometimes, completely inaccessible. The database includes well over 124,000 records collected between 1851 and 2010 by nearly 6,000 collectors. Project staff have visited and received specimen loans from over half of the project’s data contributors, enabling examination of over 4,000 museum specimens. Gulf of Mexico records and almost 19,000 inland records from neighboring Mexican and U.S. states are also included.

These efforts have already resulted in the discovery of 31 species occurrences in locations where they were previously not believed to occur, as well as 3 entirely new species for the state. Those data are now available on the FoTX website (www.fishesoftexas.org), where users can query and download the data, view interactive maps, and access the extensive digital library of field notes, specimen imagery and derived products. Users are encouraged to upload images and field notes of their own, and comment on the data to help continue improving the data.

These models and data products are being used in various ways, including projecting the impacts of climate change on fish distributions, finding and addressing knowledge gaps, exploring new ways to perform bioassessment, and comprehensive conservation planning. These data serve as a solid base for decision-making regarding regulation and conservation.

About FishBrain

FishBrain is the world’s biggest and fastest growing social network and mobile app for the world’s biggest hobby – sport fishing. FishBrain helps anglers globally catch more and bigger fish and share their experiences.

In 2014, FishBrain closed a $2.4m funding round lead by Northzone and Active Venture Partners, and has also received investment from other companies including GP Bullhound, Edastra Venture Capital, Umando, Almi Invest and Industrifonden. Additional investors include high profile entrepreneurs and business angels including Mattias Miksche, Founder and CEO of Stardoll; Rikard Steiber, EVP and Chief Digital Officer at MTG and former global marketing director of mobile and social advertising at Google; Hans Lindroth, CEO of Lingfield; Henrik Torstensson, CEO of Lifesum who previously held leading roles at Spotify and Stardoll; and Mathias Ackermand, business angel and former Founder and CFO of Transmode.

FishBrain has achieved widespread recognition, having won several awards including Slush in Helsinki in 2012, MTGx Google Glass Hackathon in San Francisco in 2013 and Seedcamp Berlin in 2013.

Johan Attby, CEO of FishBrain is an experienced serial entrepreneur, and previously founded Tific, a software company which was acquired by technology services solutions company PlumChoice Inc in 2011.

www.fishbrain.com

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