Navigation List

Drone Uses for Keeping the Oyster Farm

Historically, oyster farming uses techniques that required raking or vacuuming, damaging eelgrass which is vital to survival of tiny fish and other invertebrates. So when eelgrass was found near moister beds belonging to Hog Island Oyster Company, policymakers were alarmed. Hog Island teamed up with researchers from the Nature Conservancy in UC Santa Cruz to investigate the relationship between their oysters and the eel grass. Key to their research, drone.

Drones are proving to be useful tools in aquatic conservation efforts. The drone camera is a really high-resolution camera and it captures imagery and makes a map of the aquatic ecosystems. Drone technology supports oyster reef conservation.

See also: Bird Scaring Drones

Over the past few years, a growing ecosystem of ag-specific drone solutions has emerged, making it possible to put collecting data to work in new and exciting ways to monitor the eelgrass.

Before using drones, scientists had to rely on scuba diving, sonar studies or airplanes to monitor eelgrass. All of them labor-intensive or expensive. And it would have taken maybe one or two days to complete. Now we could do it in 15 minutes by using drones.

When paired with DJI Goggles head movement is synced with the drone camera.
DJI Goggles
It's almost a Zen moment because you're actually able to fly. You can trick your brain to think you're actually up there in that drone.

Oysters naturally clean turbid water, creating an ideal environment for the eelgrass. So what researchers are finding is the modern-day oyster farming methods that do not include raking or vacuuming might even be having a positive effect on eel grass which could be a game-changer in regard to the strict regulations regarding oyster farming.

The quality of the imagery has given us an amazing tool showing our policymakers. This is what's going on. It will take a few more years of research before results are considered conclusive, but scientists are confident they will find the answers.