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Sailboat uses sensors, satellites to track red tide in Charlotte County

 

Published: December 27, 2017 8:31 PM EST
A sailboat launched Wednesday off of Algiers Beach to track red tide in Charlotte County.

WINK News reporter Tayor Bisckay explains how the boat uses sensors and satellites to provide real-time data of the algae bloom.

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Autonomous sailboat deployed to find red tide bloom

December 26, 2017
Pine Island Eagle
By MEGHAN McCOY

An autonomous sailboat was launched from Algiers Beach to map and take measurements of where the red tide is located and what kind of environment it feeds off of to better understand the bloom that has been near Sanibel since Thanksgiving weekend.

Dr. Jordon Beckler, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium program manager of ocean technology research, Gabriel Rey, intern for Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and Navocean Owner and Chief Designer Scott Duncan.

 “This is a company that we are working with, Navocean. They actually made the boat. We are just sort of the scientist consultants on it. We are trying to promote this awesome tool and trying to show how useful it is for our research. You could put any sensor on this sailboat that you want,” Dr. Jordon Beckler, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium program manager of ocean technology research, said.

Before the sailboat was launched Navocean Owner & Chief Designer Scott Duncan did some tests from his iPad to make sure everything was working correctly. A chart on his device showed where they were located near Algiers Beach, and the six locations the sailboat would cover.

“We can reprogram its course,” he said of the fourth generation prototype. “We hope it will go out for three to four days. We are building up to 30 days and 60 days.”

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Laboratory Director Eric Milbrandt said the neat thing is they can see everything in real time.

“You send out a ship, a ship costs $20,000 a day, whereas this is much lower cost. You can find the patches and study them a lot more readily. And matching up with the satellite imagery is really important as far as telling people where it is and what the probability that it will kill fish and have respiratory irritation,” Milbrandt said.

 

read more here.

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In the spring of 2016 we worked with Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota FL to explore the potential benefits of operating in conjunction with their Slocum G2 glider deployment. We launched and recovered “Vela”, one of our prototype Nav2 ASV’s equipped with flourometer and CT sensors from the beach, off a skiff and from docks of opportunity using the vehicle’s thruster to navigate channels when required.

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On top of everything else, global warming could actually make the oceans louder. Seriously.

The world’s marine animals are up against some big challenges, including everything from climate change and ocean acidification to pollution and overfishing. And in the past several decades, conservationists have grown increasingly concerned about another threat, one that’s both pervasive and invisible in the water: the danger of sound.

Scientists and activists alike have pointed to a growing body of research suggesting that many marine animals rely on sound for communication, navigation and awareness of their surroundings — and that the noises generated by human activities, such as shipping, industrial work and military exercises, may be more disruptive to their natural habitats than we ever thought.

Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  is helping to address these concerns with a new “strategy roadmap” — the first of its kind — for researching and managing ocean noise and its impact on marine life. The agency released the strategy in draft form last week and will leave it open for public comments through July.

Source: This is the Obama administration’s new plan to stop devastating ocean noise pollution – The Washington Post

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Saildrones have the capacity to increase observational infrastructure in remote and hostile polar regions where ship time and human labor is costly and potentially hazardous.

Studies of the Bering Sea and Arctic waters are conducted mostly with ships. However, shortcomings of research vessels include their cost, limited range of observations, and seasonal measurements. The use of Saildrones in colder waters could allow scientists to enhance ship time, expand their range of measurements in the ocean, and continue to monitor through the entire year. These air and water measurements can be used to better understand warming temperatures, decreasing sea ice, and ocean acidification in an area that is not only a productive ecosystem, but also a valuable fishery for salmon, king crab, and Walleye pollock.

Source: For the first time, Saildrones explore the Bering Sea

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Stanford University researchers are deploying a fleet of static buoys and Wave Glider robots to turn the waters off the coast of San Francisco into a huge WiFi network to track tagged fish and animals.

The network acts like a huge Wi-Fi system and relies on cheap, long-lasting acoustical tags. When a tagged fish passed within 1,000 feet (304.8 m) of a data receiver, the acoustic signal is recorded and uploaded along with a timestamp and GPS location to a shore station. The buoys that make up the static part of the network are placed where white sharks are most likely to be. However, it’s an axiom of science that if you already know where something is, then there’s no point in looking for it, so the network also uses Wave Glider robots to rove about the area to cover any holes.

Source: Wave Glider ocean robots to track sharks in northern California