Using Drones to Survey Fish Stock: Our First Full West Coast Mission
In the Summer of 2018, five saildrones embark on the first autonomous full West Coast fisheries survey, in collaboration with Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Oceans Canada, and the NOAA research vessel Reuben Lasker.
We’re excited to partner with NOAA Fisheries to embark on this full West Coast fisheries survey. In collaboration with Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Oceans Canada, and the NOAA research vessel Reuben Lasker, Saildrone will be deploying a total of five saildrones to gather valuable fish stock data on hake, sardine, and anchovy populations. The first two launched from Neah Bay, WA, on Tuesday to head up to Canadian waters. Three more will soon launch from our headquarters in Alameda, CA.
Four of the saildrones will follow a track similar to the path of the Reuben Lasker to gather acoustic data on the hake population. The fifth Saildrone will augment the ship’s survey of coastal pelagic fish like anchovy and sardines by surveying nearer shore areas, examining vertical-migration and schooling patterns by studying the same area over multiple days, and surveying ahead of the ship to enable the ship to focus on areas with the most fish.
This integrated survey is an innovative approach to assessing fish stock. By working with multiple fisheries and working alongside one of NOAA’s research vessels, this mission will demonstrate the efficiency of using unmanned systems to augment limited research vessel time and provide necessary data for accurate assessments. In addition, weather data gathered by the saildrones will be used to improve forecast models.
“This a real opportunity for us to test new and likely better ways of collecting data that informs some of our most important decisions on fisheries management.” — Larry Hufnagle, a NWFSC research scientist who will help direct the mission
Navigating an ocean of data, delivering a world of possibilities.
Saildrone is a US business that provides comprehensive turnkey data solutions and actionable insights and intelligence for real-time ocean mapping, ocean data, and maritime security from any ocean on earth. Saildrone’s fleet of environmentally friendly wind and solar-powered uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) operate 24/7/365 without the need for a crewed support vehicle. They are equipped with advanced sensors and machine learning technology to deliver critical data and intelligence from any ocean at any time of year.