Atlantic bluefin tuna measured with an APH-22 hexacopter drone

In the Gulf of Maine, researchers use an APH-22 hexacopter drone to collect data and measure juvenile Atlantic bluefin tuna. The purpose of this pilot study was to see if a drone could keep up with the fast-moving tuna and take high-resolution photos that would capture individual fish and schools.

APH-22 hexacopter drone used to measure Atlantic bluefin tuna

The high-resolution photos taken with the APH-22 hexacopter drone allowed researchers to measure the elusive tuna with an accuracy of less than 1 cm. The pilot study was conducted northeast of Cape Cod in the southern parts of the Gulf of Maine which are the foraging grounds of the Atlantic bluefin tuna.

“Multi-rotor unmanned aerial systems won't replace shipboard surveys or the reliance on manned aircraft to cover a large area,” said Mike Jech, an acoustics researcher at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, and lead author of the study, according to “They have a limited flight range due to battery power and can only collect data in bursts. Despite some limitations, they will be invaluable for collecting remote high-resolution images that can provide data at the accuracy and precision needed by managers for growth and ecosystem models of Atlantic bluefin tuna.”

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Measured With An Aph-22 Hexacopter Drone

The APH-22 helicopter. Photo credit: ResearchGate, Holly Fearnbach

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Measured With An Aph-22 Hexacopter Drone 1

The Atlantic bluefin tuna has proven to be a fish that is hard to study because it swims incredibly fast and also at times at depths of hundreds of feet below the surface. A fast-flying drone with a high-resolution camera allows the researchers to take precision measurements of the fish that are in constant motion.

“The platform [APH-22 hexacopter drone] is ideal for accurately measuring fish length, width, and the distance between individuals in a school when you apply calibration settings and performance measures,” Jech said. “We were able to locate the hexacopter in three-dimensional space and monitor its orientation to obtain images with a resolution that allowed us to make measurements of individual fish.”

The results of the study that uses the APH-22 hexacopter drone have been published in the March 2020 edition of the Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Measured With An Aph-22 Hexacopter Drone

You can find more stories about drones and here.

Droneu Marketing Banner Ad 1

Stay in touch!

If you'd like to stay up to date with all the latest drone news, scoops, rumors, and reviews, then follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or…

Subscribe to our Daily Drone News email.*


Submit tips If you have information or tips that you would like to share with us, feel free to submit them hereSupport You can support by using these links when you make your next drone purchase: Adorama, Amazon, B&H, BestBuy, eBay, DJI, Parrot, and Yuneec. We make a small commission when you do so at no additional expense to you. Thank you for helping DroneXL grow! FTC: uses affiliate links that generate income.

* We do not sell, share, rent out or spam your email, ever. Our email goes out on weekdays around 5:30 p.m.


Discover more from DroneXL

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


Proposed legislation threatens your ability to use drones for fun, work, and safety. The Drone Advocacy Alliance is fighting to ensure your voice is heard in these critical policy discussions.Join us and tell your elected officials to protect your right to fly.

Drone Advocacy Alliance
Follow us on Google News!

Get your Part 107 Certificate

Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.

pilot institute dronexl

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. The content, images, and intellectual property on this website are protected by copyright law. Reproduction or distribution of any material without prior written permission from is strictly prohibited. For permissions and inquiries, please contact us first.

FTC: is an Amazon Associate and uses affiliate links that can generate income from qualifying purchases. We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

Articles: 3642

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

en_USEnglish (United States)