Capt. Brian Taggart, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Institute (NOAA) (ret.) has spent a career flying all types of aircraft – manned and unmanned – to gather aerial data for conservation. Now, he heads the Oceans Unmanned project, an organization developed to use drones to support conservation, education, and protection of oceans. Oceans Unmanned, says Taggart, is “Bringing Tech to Ocean Protection.”
“Drones are fundamentally changing the way we monitor and manage our environment,” says Taggart. With drones and mapping software (they partner with DroneDeploy), Oceans Unmanned is able to perform a stunning array of services to help conserve marine environments.
Oceans Unmanned is working with teams to track distribution and abundance of species – everything from whales to sea otters – with drones. They help identify whales that have been become entangled in fishing gear. They map and model shipwrecks, and marine heritage areas – places that might be too shallow to evaluate from a boat. They help to identify illegal fishing activity, which acts as a powerful deterrent. And they’ve counted and monitored human use of conservation areas also. See more...