Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Underwater robots kill invasive fish to save the oceans

Underwater robots kill invasive fish to save the oceans | ZDNet
"Robots can help undo some of the damage that has been done to our environment. 
Unmanned aerial vehicles are already being used to track endangered wildlife and assist land conservation efforts by mapping ecosystems and monitoring protected areas.
Meanwhile at sea, autonomous sailing drones are monitoring ocean water to detect any pollution and track changes in temperature and pH. 
Now, underwater robots are also working to restore biodiversity by hunting invasive species. 
Divers around the world have been trying to control invasive marine animals by hand, but robots could be more precise, effective, and constant.

Lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea

cotsbot.jpgOne of the trickiest ocean pests is the lionfish. 
This fish originated in a balanced ecosystem in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, where the population was controlled by natural predators. 
It is gorgeous -- striped, spiky, and colorful -- which is quite impressive in aquariums. 
Unfortunately, this is likely why lionfish ended up in the Atlantic Ocean, where they were first spotted off the Florida coast in the mid-eighties. 
They have since thrived in this unfamiliar habitat, where they have no natural predators and plenty of food.
Lionfish have now multiplied and spread up the eastern US coastline and down into the Caribbean Sea. 
They feast on native fish populations, including species that help control algae on reefs. 
If those fish disappear, algae will likely grow out of control, which can smother the reefs and eventually kill them..."

No comments: