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Terveilm

In English

A buoy to check the health of water bodies

07.12.2018

Andri Laidre and Karl-Kristo Vene founded FlyDog Marine 11 years ago. Today, the unique buoys developed by them assist in measuring the health of aquatic ecosystems all year round in Estonia, Finland and Sweden.

Andri and Karl were schoolmates and studied engineering. When they got the idea to create their own business, the important criteria were ethics and preserving the nature. Andri recalls, “We thought that the world is already full of stuff and our task as engineers shouldn’t be producing more stuff. In creating our products, we aim for bringing benefits to mankind and the nature.”

Andri says that the most exciting thing in their product selection is a buoy that allows for moving its sensors up and down, so that measurements can be taken at different depths – for example, once per hour and metre. “The usual parameters are temperature, salt content, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and phytoplankton. Our buoy has been used to measure such things at depths up to 100 metres in the Baltic sea.”

Past, present and future in one device

“In a situation where environmental issues become more and more pressing, yet where no one is about to pour money into dealing with them, we have to have effective solutions for measuring the condition of the water bodies. The data could be valuable in ten years when we run into trouble. We have only recently realized the real value of the water temperature data from 200 years in the past. Perhaps in those days, they thought that the people playing in the water with a thermometer are slightly mad,” ponders Karl.

At the moment, they are also working on solutions for minor islands. “In developing countries, there are many small communities that depend on river water and use it as drinking water. In the rainy season, the flood water brings dirt and other trash downstream, so in this period, the river water could be dangerous. This system could aid local water companies in determining when to stop using river water or treat it more thoroughly,” explains Andri.

They are often asked if they’re running a green business. Karl says, “In the classical sense, we are not green at all – the manufacturing input contains lithium and tin, after all. However, the output cannot be readily measured or judged by any scale. We believe that our devices could help the environment even more than the cars produced by Tesla. In some sense, we are helping to detect leaks on a sinking ship.”

Webpage: Flydog Marine

Photos: Flydog Marine

Why this story matters?

The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind.

Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. 

Read more about SDG 14 – Life Below the Water

This publication has been produced with the financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the coordinators of this project and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

 

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Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ) is an independent not-for-profit coalition of non-governmental organisations that work in the field of development cooperation, global citizenship education or sustainable development.

AKÜ is a strategic partner for Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a consultant the state in field of development cooperation, global citizenship education or sustainable development.

AKÜ also provides workshops and consultancy for private sector companies as well as for wider public on sustainable development goals and global issues. 

The highest decision-making body is the General Assmebly.  AKÜ’s legal representative is the Board, which is also responsible for managing the organisation’s staff. 

MTÜ Arengukoostöö Ümarlaud (AKÜ)

Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation

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Agne Kuimet – member of management board, agne@terveilm.ee