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).
In addition to the science, I am also using this opportunirty for shark conservaiton outreach. During my surveys, I had the pleasure of having conversations with local divers, fishermen, and charter captains about their take on sharks and recent shark conservation efforts in the Bahamas. Check out this video for their interviews!