Ocean Hackathon® Cape Town
48 hours to decode the oceans

The Global Ocean Hackathon® is a 48-hour non-stop event which gathers young data science, IT development, business administration and marine science talents to develop innovative ocean-impact solutions.
Date: December 2nd-4th
Venue: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Format: Hybrid

Since 2016, the annual Ocean Hackathon®️ gathers cities across the Globe to form multidisciplinary local teams of young talents to develop innovative solutions in response to local ocean-focused challenges, leveraging ocean and coastal data.  As the first African city to enter this Global Competition in 2021, Ocean Hackathon®️ Cape Town returned to tackle 4 local challenges in 2022, aimed at:

  • Preventing Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in South African waters
  • Improving the efficiency of salvage at sea
  • Facilitating collaboration between small-scale fishermen and Marine Protected Areas’ managers
  • Speeding up the designing process of sustainable coastal infrastructures

2022 Cape Town Challenges

Machine learning based on high-frequency radar signals to identify vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing.

An interactive data application framework for lagrangian position estimates, enabling more accurate decision support for rescuers looking for persons or objects lost at sea.

An alert system demarcating and identifying no-fishing zones and subsequently informing small fishermen vessels when they are in the vicinity.

A system to source and collate environmental, geotechnical and infrastructure data to inform optimisation of SharkSafe Barrier installation.


First prize of R16 000 went to Team Sea Far, who tackled the Radar at Sea Challenge with Thando Mazomba and Andile M Malinga from CLS Southern Africa. Congratulations to Theodore Batik, Frank Fundel, and Asmaa Chibane of team sea far who went on to earn 3rd place in the Global Final held in Brest, France, on the 9th February 2023.

Second Place went to Team FindX who developed their solution to the LOST (Lagrangian Ocean Search Targets) Challenge with Björn Backeberg of Deltares, along with SMIT Salvage and Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut der Technischen Universität München. Well done to Bryan Nkala, Liisa Shangheta, Quinn Grace, Sitraka Nandrianina Tolojanahary and Thobeka Sithole of Team FindX.

Third Place was awarded to Team Tech Marines, creating their innovative solution to the SharkSafe Barrier Design Decision Support System Challenge with Sara Andreotti, founder of SharkSafe Barrier. Congratulations to McQuwaen Moonoosamy, Sudipa Balgobind, Andile Kuzwayo, Richard M., Gift Mogeni. and Kebakile Sebe.

A special mention goes to Team Ocean Rangers who took on the MPA Alert System Challenge with Judy Mann-Lang from Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation. Despite being a mostly online team, Prince Thokozani Simelane, Nwabisa Ndodana, Ntandokazi Masimula and Kelvin Wachira produced outstanding work.

2022 African Chapter supported by:

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