Fugro, PlanBlue join to speed seafloor mapping

Staff reporter

Dutch geodata survey company Fugro says it plans to tap advanced marine habitat imaging and AI-based processing technology under a strategic alliance with Germany’s PlanBlue.

PlanBlue, a 2017 tech start-up based in Bremen, says the partnership will help it scale high-quality satellite-led seafloor mapping systems and outputs.

Fugro says it aims to enhance and broaden its hydrographic solutions by “incorporating cutting-edge technology such as advanced imaging and AI-based processing and deploying it across different platforms like remote and autonomous underwater vehicles”.

“This collaboration targets the improvement of habitat mapping solutions, systematically studying and documenting the characteristics and distribution of critical marine ecosystems such as seagrass and corals,” the company said.

“Habitat mapping helps in understanding their ecological importance, assessing their condition, monitoring changes over time, and informing conservation and management efforts.

“Roughly 75% of the ocean floor remains unexplored.

“Even the parts we have explored lack detailed information, especially regarding the ocean’s impact on climate and food security.

“The development of this new capability aims to improve the speed, accuracy, and scope of underwater mapping, leading to better decisions for ocean conservation and use.”

PlanBlue co-founder Dr Hannah Brocke said accelerating the collection of marine habitat insights was essential for meaningful policy decisions in the blue economy.


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