SnotBot ready to help disentangle whales!
A lot of people don’t realize that our Drones for Whale Research program is a lot more than SnotBot; we have a number of iterations of our drones to meet different whale research goals. SnotBot has already been helping researchers understand more about long term whale health by collecting exhaled Breath Condensate (snot) that contains, DNA, hormones, ketones, and micro biomes. Now SnotBot is helping whales in a much more immediate way. The SnotBot team is ready and standing by to use our drones to help the Center for Coastal Studies and NOAA disentangle whales that are caught in lines or nets!
To meet this goal in 2017 we put in a new 30-foot dock at our headquarters in Gloucester Harbor, we’ve acquired a 30-foot Bertram Mopie, we have 2 modified Inspire 1V2 SnotBot drones and we’ve got what might be the first NGO permit to fly drones over entangled whales. We are ready to go!
When a whale is entangled it is clearly stressed, to disentangle the whales the highly experienced CCS team can spend up to 2 hours trying to understand how the animal is entangled. This is where we will help SnotBot will be able to get aerial images of the configuration of the ropes or nets entangling the whale and send the images back live to the disentanglement team, who can be a distance from the whale. This gives the people doing the physical cutting of ropes and lines a much better idea of what tools they will need and what strategy they should use. This should make disentangling a whale safer for everyone involved.