Drone use in marine conservation
Drones are revolutionizing conservation science in terms of how marine animals are being monitored and observed, allowing researchers to get closer to these animals than ever before without hampering their natural habitats.
In terms of marine conservation, drones can create high-resolution base maps of marine areas, proving far more superior to the images being obtained from Google Maps and Satellite Images. Georeferenced orthomosaics, for example, help research teams measure distances and features with true accuracy.
Drones are also able to fly at very low altitudes of 50 meters or lower, allowing operators to obtain photographic images for transects and species analysis. This approach completely removes the interference of the species’ habitats making it a far more effective way of gathering data in terms of marine conservation. What this means is that researchers are now able to produce more meaningful data in a more cost-effective way.
Underwater drones are also helping researchers to monitor the health of marine ecosystems. Previously hard-to-reach places can now be accessed by drones, bringing back water and sediment samples that help scientists determine the type of species inhabiting certain areas. Furthermore, drones have proved invaluable in helping scientists and researchers to better understand the impact of aquaculture operations on marine environments.