Problem


The Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center (http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor-center) is a Newport, Oregon based organization dedicated to studying the Coastal Oregon marine ecosystem. They recently developed a database that allows scientists to identify the natal river of a salmon by analyzing the genomes on a single scale. The ambition of the project is to enable real time natal stream identification in the field, thus identifying natal stream bycatch issues (where fish destined for far away rivers are caught in the open ocean.) The problem is the current tests require extensive lab work, thus making it impossible to apply results real time.

Solution


Minion is an Oxford, England based company that has developed a hand held, real time DNA processing solution.

Outcome


We have introduced Minion and the Mark Hatfield Science Center and they are discussing how the Minion solution can be used with their database.

Expected Impact


By providing existing observers with real time DNA identification tools, the natal stream of fish being caught in the open ocean can be determined real time. While policies do not exit currently that would require release of those fish, the hope is that identifying the prevalence of natal stream bycatch will encourage policy makers to move towards a natal stream licensing model, where licenses are granted to catch returning fish within a certain distance of their natal stream. By doing so, this would align industry and conservationists around the preservation of their natal stream salmon and steelhead runs, as well as provide the first real view of the health of individual natal stream salmon and steelhead runs.

Expected Investment Return


Minion primary use in is fighting terrorism by allowing real time DNA identification of individuals. As such, we expect it will exit to a security oriented buyer.