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2022 | Justin Chen, Max Davies and Neal Grayson

Justin Chen, Max Davies and Neal Grayson from Glendowie College, Auckland were presented with their Team Gold CREST award recently for their project on developing an unmanned ocean surveillance vessel.

Mentor: Mike Jakowetz

Representative teacher: Jeelie Christopher

Gold CREST medal presented by: Dr Brent Clothier FRSNZ


Justin Chen, Max Davies and Neal Grayson's Executive Summary states: 

Since May 2020, there have been 242 marine reserve offences logged in the Department of Conservation’s database. Any illegal activities in the reserves are a massive threat to New Zealand’s biologically diverse marine ecosystem. Currently, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries are responsible for the patrolling and policing of the 44 Marine-protected areas in New Zealand. Monitoring of regional protected areas is often done by the respective council and the Ministry of Fisheries. But the amount of these violations clearly shows a gap in their current surveillance capabilities. There is an opportunity and responsibility for better monitoring of these reserves to protect the marine life in these areas and sustain or even improve their biodiversity. Therefore, we have created a completely autonomous vessel that has the ability to travel to pre-set GPS coordinates and transmit the real-time video feed to a connected device. This could increase the amount of surveillance in the 44 marine reserves and reduce the frequency of breaches in these protected areas. Our vessel will function as an extra patrolling method supplementing the existing actions taken by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Primary Industries