Coastal Sharks along Great Abaco

While most people are now well aware of personal drones being in the sky around the island, you just might see one that is working hard for marine research. With the support of Save Our Seas Foundation and collaboration with FRIENDS, this summer I will using a DJI© drone to test its use as a non-invasive method to monitor marine megafauna along the shoreline of Abaco. Specifically, I am asking whether or not shoreline development and human activities (e.g. boat traffic) may drive the distribution of coastal sharks (small juveniles and roaming adults). Quite a few scientists around the world are beginning to use drones for marine aerial surveys. With Abaco’s shoreline being a mosaic bottom of sand, seagrass, and deep cuts, it allows a perfect opportunity to begin quantifying the detection probability. That is, to quantify what is truly in the water vs. what the drone’s camera records. So in addition to surveying proposed protected areas and currently developed areas along Abaco, I will be testing the drone’s ability to how well it can see in our shallow water ways (details to come). Here is a short clip of our first day testing out the drone in the field. If you look closely, you might spot a juvenile green sea turtle. Enjoy!

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By | 2017-12-01T14:02:14+00:00 June 5th, 2015|Categories: development, sharks|0 Comments

About the Author:

Enie Hensel
Broadly my interests lie in exploring the intertwining interactions between top-down and bottom-up mechanisms that have been anthropogenically impacted in coastal ecosystems. Currently, I am investigating how structure complexity and the presence of top predators affect patch reef fish communities in Abaco, The Bahamas.

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