The challenge: Plankton are the foundation of marine ecosystems, forming the base of the food chain and regulating the Earth's climate. They also produce an estimated 50% of the planet's oxygen, with phytoplankton responsible for much of this production through photosynthesis. Despite successful efforts to gather data, analysing plankton with integrative approaches remains a challenge. By hacking available plankton Big Data, we can address important knowledge gaps and better understand the critical role that plankton play in sustaining our oceans and planet.

The "Wildlife Tracker for Oceans" is a geo-framework dedicated to the real-time assessment of Marine Protected Areas - MPAs. The software is able to retrieve live feeds from Satellite Constellations like Argos for animal tracking and Copernicus for ocean bio-physic data. Thanks to advances in geo-technologies the processing and visualization of data can happen on the fly. Wildlife Tracker geo-framework is powered with a graphic interface that lets visualize the movements of marine megafauna with a real-time feed. Additionally,  with the support of BlueCloud, it is possible to include the hotspot of Phytoplankton concentration, with different levels of depth. The geo-framework supports the assessment of Marine Protected Areas delimitation based on meaningful spots of marine wildlife.

Wildlife Tracker for Oceans is aiming for supporting the protection of marine megafauna based on real-time geospatial technologies This project is dedicated to marine scientists who are willing to discover: 1) how the Phytoplankton hotspots influence the marine megafauna movements, 2) to what extent the movements of marine megafauna and Phytoplankton concentration help the delimitation of MPAs. With specialized users, the tool can help to the proper delimitation and protection of MPAs including the meaningful spots of marine megafauna. It is known as meaningful to those places where hotpots of Phytoplankton overlap the marine megafauna movements.

The team was inspired by ocean life! Focused on real-time wildlife monitoring, eager to create a geo-framework that supports the assessment of marine protected areas.

The “Wildlife Tracker for Ocean” offers the following three services:

  • Real-time alerts: Once the biologging data is connected to their database and the Wildlife Trackeris retrieving real-time data the alert system is connected. Alerts are customisable e.g. individuals out of MPAs, on land, or in high fishing pressure zones. Alerts are received via mobile.

  • Customisable visualisation: Wildlife Tracker enables users to customise the visualisation based on selected individuals and selected satellite data. The map animation can be downloaded as a web map that can be uploaded to our website and a web map gallery is created for specific purposes.

  • Environmental eco-annotation: The new enrichment algorithm annotates each location and date with historic spatio-temporal data generated from remote sensors. This product helps scientists to understand wildlife behaviour and support ecosystem modelling for MPAs management.


The Challenge


Plankton are the fabric of marine ecosystems. They support the Ocean food webs and our fisheries, and they produce an estimated 50% of the Planet's oxygen. However, in spite of successful efforts to gather a wealth of data, our knowledge of plankton remains difficult to analyse with integrative approaches. With your help, we can hack available plankton Big Data to address important knowledge gaps.

This pilot joined Challenge 1A - How might we map hotspots of plankton diversity and identify geographic gaps in our knowledge using currently available plankton data sets?

Discover the Blue-Cloud Hackathon and its challenges


Marine Wildlife Trackers

  • Team Lead
  • Blue Economy Director
  • Conservation and Marine Resources
  • Content Creator