Drones are ‘absolutely fantastic’ says Stephen Kajiura, a shark specialist and professor from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Access to aerial footage from accessible and affordable drones help scientists better understand how these marine predators behave in real life.
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.
It sounds like a simple question, right? How do you measure a whale? Well, the more you think about it, the more you will come to understand that it is not easy at all to measure such a large and moving animal. Well, two Ph.D. students, KC Bierlich and Walter Torres came up with a way of measuring whales. And, of course, they used drones to do so.