"Drones on a Different Mission"

"Belize has made a great effort to protect its coral reef system — the largest in the Western Hemisphere — by establishing more than a dozen protected areas. But patrolling large stretches of ocean and coastline and enforcing fishing regulations takes time, people and boats. Or drones.

In June, the Wildlife Conservation Society began training operators from the Belize Fisheries Department to use two drones to help track illegal fishing activities. The drones went into use just at the start of lobster season.

This is only the beginning, said Julio R. Maaz, community fisheries coordinator for the conservation society in Belize, who hopes the drones will prove a cost-effective way to “monitor our national waters.”"

James Gorman reports for the New York Times July 21, 2014.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014