The conservation and protection of the world’s fisheries and marine life is crucial for a healthy, diverse marine habitat now and in the future. The highest pressures on marine life are overfishing and fishing in destructive manners. Marine sanctuaries have been established to protect the diverse marine life within. In one study in the Philippines, over a span of 17 years, marine sanctuaries were found to increase fish species richness and abundance if well maintained and controlled. Many sanctuaries are arising in efforts to protect marine life, but controlling such large areas has found to be the second most challenging problem.
Palau’s president, Tommy Remengesau Jr, recently in February, announced a ban of all commercial fishing surrounding the island, in Palau’s economic zone. This small island does not have sufficient resources to control and maintain such an enormous area. One possible solution to help control the area and also learn more about the effects of climate change, are ocean drones powered by solar and wave energy. Developed by Liquid Robotics, a company in California, the unmanned drone can collect data on weather on the surface as well as below and above. More important, it can patrol the borders of the marine reserve while further protecting the reefs and marine life.
Inventions like the ocean drone could set the future in controlling and protecting the marine reserves around the world.
-by Katherine Adams
Walmsley, S. F. and WhitePaterson, A.T. (2003). Influence of social, management and enforcement factors on the long-term ecological effects of marine sanctuaries [Abstract]. Environmental Conservation, 30(4), 388-407.
Hagovsky, A. (February 2014). Palau President Announces Plan to Protect Nation’s Waters with Large Marine Sanctuary. Retrieved from http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/other-resources/palau-president-announces-plan-to-protect-nations-waters-with-large-marine-sanctuary-85899540424