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Aerial Drones for Marine Conservation

November 29, 2012

This here is just fun.  Oh, and terrifically innovative, mind-blowing, and (maybe) greatly important for the future of coastal marine enforcement.  But it’s also just fun.

The video and the greatly expanded terrestrial enforcement capabilities Nepal’s Chitwan National Park are all thanks to  Their great contribution was developing a low-cost (~$1,000) drone and thinking through how drones could be used for conservation.

Recently I was able to chat with Lian Pin Koh, one of the founders of  Does he see an opportunity for the use of drones for marine enforcement?  Absolutely.

The limitations, Koh explained, are that the drones have a range of about 50km and they need a large open space to land.  That sounds perfect for coastal fisheries in the developing world, just where VMS deployment is lagging. They hope to test out the drones for marine enforcement going forward.

P.S. I’ll post a video of Koh’s talk at the WWF 2012 Fuller Symposium as soon as it’s up.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2012 3:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing this important update on the new capabilities of the drones to patrol the protected areas especially in the third world. I would be grateful to receive more narrative report on the performance of the drone, as the video or cannot show in this part of the world due to slow internet. Thanks.

    • November 29, 2012 4:49 pm

      Great to hear from you Betarim. I recommend you check out: and contact them at their email address listed. Beyond that, have you connected with Aulani Wilhelm, the administrator of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine Monument in U.S. Pacific waters? She is looking into the use of drones for her reserves and I believe your reserve is part of a collaborative group supported by Aulani:

  2. November 30, 2012 5:33 am

    You may not need large spaces for landing if you’ve got good operators like our Asia Team. Check this out! How to land a Conservation Drone in Small Spaces

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