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A file photo of a North Atlantic right whale. Image: DFO/Dr. Andrew J. Wright

Drone technology to assist aquatic mammals at risk

By Tara Clow May 30, 2024 | 2:31 PM

New drone technology will assist in the detection of aquatic species at risk.

The federal government is providing $855,000 under the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk (CNFASAR) for the project that will protect and better detect the presence of marine mammals.

The project aims to improve near-real-time detection and monitoring through a collaboration with companies Whale Seeker, based in Montreal, Quebec and Edgewise Environmental, based in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Möbius technology will be used, which leverages drone and artificial intelligence technology to simplify and facilitate marine mammal observation in real-time.

The government says improved detection is essential to recovery and conservation efforts.

It will use a more effective way of observing marine mammals to strengthen the protection of aquatic species at risk.

The North Atlantic right whale is just one of the species that will be monitored.

The project will launch in Southern Newfoundland.

The Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Rivers and the Bay of Fundy and Southern Uplands Watersheds are two of the nine  Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk (CNFASAR) priority areas.