Illegal Wildlife Trade is the fourth largest criminal industry in the world valued at 23 billion dollars annually. Criminals abuse the legal pet trade to transport illegal species. Customs enforcement officers and the transport industry are responsible for policing this legal and illegal trade in live species. Distinguishing between legal and illegal wildlife is complex, timely and dangerous for officers who are expected to inspect hundreds of individual shipments daily. For example, London Heathrow handles over 28 million live species per year, equating to 77,000 individuals per day.
Our Solution - NATURE INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM
In partnership with Andy Rhyne at Roger Williams University and Eric Fegraus of Conservation International, we developed Nature Intelligence System to provide government officials and the transport industry with a powerful tool to increase the detection of illegal wildlife trade whilst enabling the legal pet trade to function more efficiently. This project is a result of this solution winning the Grand Prize of the USAID Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge. See more here
Background data - the global trade in marine fish and inverts
Many small scale, artisianal fisheries for "ornamental" fish and invertebrates are key economic drivers for reef side economies. However, we don't have a good handle on the scale of these fisheries. We are developing the ability to automatically capture species and volume information from shipping invoices to help understand this trade, detect illegal shipments, and determine the value of healthy coral reefs. see more here