DJI Drones Being Used to Save Entangled Whales
NOAA, Oceans Unmanned and DJI Team Up
May 29, 2018 – Every fall, pods of enormous humpback whales make their way towards Hawaii, where they can ride out the winter in warm waters of NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. For centuries humans have watched this noble migration with awe and wonder. But today, an ever-growing number of these amazing animals are finding themselves in grave danger, entrapped in fishing gear and other marine debris.
Specialists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have worked with local volunteers to help save the whales by launching small boats with trained teams to disentangle them while in the water. It’s risky work, bringing people into close contact with the gigantic mammals. Knives on long poles work to cut free ropes that have sunk deep into the whales flesh. Last year, a volunteer was killed when a whale struck him.
To help make the process safer, the whales rescue squads are turning to a new technology: drones.