Illegal fishing is depleting seas and oceans of irreplaceable resources—and putting human populations at risk.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an international non-governmental organization, wanted to put a stop to the illegal trade of fisheries products by leveraging the power of technology. Together with their partner TRAFFIC, WWF developed a methodology to identify suspected illegal products moving through global trade routes, but they needed a web app to automate the process and put data in users' hands.

WWF was a participant in Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Living Progress Challenge, an Innovation Program that asked people and companies to submit ideas for apps that positively impact the world. Their application idea was selected from more than 130 proposals to receive funding for design and development through Topcoder.

Topcoder used it's proprietary "atomization" process to break the project down into small units of work, from designing the user interface to building a clickable prototype to developing a ready-to-deploy application. Hyper-specialized members from the Topcoder Community worked on each stage of the project, and a Topcoder copilot managed logistics and esured quality results.

Today, the Detect IT: Fish (short for Detect Illegal Trade in Fish) web application enables automated collection, comparison, and analysis of customs data to detect illegal trade in seafood at a global scale. Leveraging HPE Vertica technology, Detect IT: Fish is a powerful and collaborative tool that's helping tackle illegal fishing to protect biodiversity, food security, and economic fairness.

The power of big data can protect our oceans and dramatically improve lives in areas supported by the ocean. With impressive support from HPE and the talented Topcoder Community, we are automating searches and looking for anomalies in global seafood trade patterns, and developing a powerful new tool for tracking down the bad guys who are profiting from selling seafood stolen from our seas. By ending illegal fishing, together we will create economic opportunity for local fishermen, ensure vital access to nutritious seafood, and provide a sustainable foundation for future generations.Vice President - Oceans Policy, World Wildlife Fund, U.S