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Using DJI Phantom drones to catch sharks off the Long Island coast

Using DJI Phantom drones to catch sharks off the Long Island coast

An article from the NY Times explains how local fishermen catch sharks with the use of DJI Phantom drones of the coast of Long Island, NY. Warmer, cleaner water in combination with reduced industrial fishing has brought back the bunker baitfish in large numbers to the shores of Long Island.

Using DJI Phantom drones to catch sharks off the Long Island coast

With the arrival of the bunker baitfish (Atlantic menhaden) came the sharks, dolphins, whales, and other predators.

Chris Stefanou, also known as the LI Sharkman, uses a DJI Phantom drone to drop the bait a few hundred yards offshore where the sharks are.

“Goin’ out!” he yelled, and the drone raced away from sunbathers sprawled on Tobay Beach, far from the children boogie-boarding in the waves. Then, a half-mile out, when it was over deep enough water, he barked, “Kill it!” and his girlfriend, Savannah Comodo, locked the reel with a flick of the hand. The baited hook dropped into the sea with a distant splash amid the whitecaps and the gulls, reports the NY Times. “I give it 10 minutes,” Mr. Stefanou said.

Using DJI Phantom drones to catch sharks off the Long Island coast

Even though catching sharks can create dramatic photos and a large following on Instagram, targeting the predators, even for catch-and-release is prohibited by law. First-time violators can be fined up to $250 according to a statement from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which frequently patrols the ocean beaches for illegal harvesting and taking of prohibited species.

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Photo credit: Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Haye Kesteloo

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