drone tagged posts

Using Drones to Stem The Plastic Tide

Man on beach with drone and plastic

An environmental organization in England is using drones and artificial intelligence to help measure plastic waste on the world’s beaches. In the last 10 years, there has been a 250% increase of plastics washing up on the world’s beaches. Of the millions of tons that are dumped in our oceans each year, we can only account for around 1%. The rest – yes, that’s 99% of millions of tons – is missing, lost among the waves. That’s the startling introduction from The Plastic Tide founder Peter Kohler.

Having the noble intention of cleaning up the mess we have made is just the start. The scale of that task is monumental. Aside from all the plastic floating around in the oceans and on the sea floor, spotting the waste that does turn up on beaches among pebbles and sand isn’t easy.


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Award-winning Smart Drones to Take on Illegal Fishing

Fish are seen in a fish market near the canal of Port Said, Egypt, March 18, 2018.

Drones guided by artificial intelligence to catch boats netting fish where they shouldn’t were among the winners of a marine protection award on Friday and could soon be deployed to fight illegal fishing, organizers said. The award-winning project aims to help authorities hunt down illegal fishing boats using drones fitted with cameras that can monitor large swaths of water autonomously.

Illegal fishing and overfishing deplete fish stocks worldwide, causing billions of dollars in losses a year and threatening the livelihoods of rural coastal communities, according to the United Nations.

The National Geographic Society awarded the project, co-developed by Morocco-based company ATLAN Space, and two other innovations $150,000 each to implement their plans as it marked World Oceans Day on Fri...

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Lab to Deploy Drones for Data Collection


The Duke Marine Lab is taking to the skies to study marine ecology and endangered species. After receiving Federal Aviation Administration approval Friday, the recently-opened Marine Conservation Ecology Unmanned Systems Facility aims to use unmanned aerial vehicle technology—or drones—to gather data more efficiently than ever before.

With the approval, the laboratory can now pilot drones stateside in addition to its already-sponsored missions abroad. The Beaufort, N.C., facility flew operational missions in August along with researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Costa Rica to track the nesting patterns of endangered sea turtles.

“We’re interested in using these systems to go out and count animals, to study coastal habitats and obtain coastal imagery, to s...

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