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Dive In to Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge!

Celebrate National Oceans Month by diving in to the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge! The Challenge, an initiative of USAID in partnership with National Geographic, the Smithsonian, and TRAFFIC is an open competition that will award prizes of up to $500,000 for innovative science and technology solutions that help combat the trafficking of marine and terrestrial wildlife. Winners will also receive technical assistance in scaling their solution, and other support.

In June 2014, the Presidential Memorandum establishing the Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraudcharged it to coordinate its efforts closely with the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking. The National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking affirmed that the U.S. will support regional fishery management organizations to better detect and suppress IUU fishing and work with other international organizations to improve compliance and enforcement. The Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking directed the Wildlife Trafficking Task Force to coordinate its activities with the IUU Task Force to those ends.

The Implementation Plan also refers to the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge as a way to combat wildlife trafficking using innovative science and technology solutions. One existing solution, for example, provides U.S. consumers with convenient tools to determine if a seafood product was sustainably harvested, or whether its consumption is likely to be the result of illegal fishing or harmful practices.

The Challenge looks to you to continue this effort by submitting your ideas! The application deadline is June 30, 2015, less than two weeks away! Please visit the Challenge website to learn about some of the science and technology solutions that are relevant to the Challenge, submit an application, and read an overview of wildlife trafficking.

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