Over the last few months, I’ve been digging into the confusing tangle of laws that protect marine mammals and regulate the use of drones–small, semi-autonomous vehicles used by both researchers and hobbyists to observe whales and other marine mammals. You can check out the outcome of my findings over at Motherboard, where I just published Drones Would Revolutionize Oceanic Conservation, If They Weren’t Illegal. The quick and dirt summary is that there is no legal way to fly drones near whales, at the moment, but there are ways to do it responsibly while we work to catch regulations up with technology.
In working through these guidelines, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we can use this new technology to aid ocean conservation. Below are my top 10 favorite ideas for using drones to save the ocean.
1. Monitor our coastlines for poaching and other illegal activities. Read More