Drones scope out potential for aquaculture in Mexico

Linda Hiemstra
May 02, 2014
By Linda Hiemstra

Mexico’s Institute of National Fisheries, known as Inapesca for short, is using three remote-controlled aerial drones to gather information on areas suitable for aquaculture development in the country.

         The information gathered will enable the organization to design strategies with the objective of increasing the profile of aquaculture – especially in regions of the country that are difficult to access to survey or are remote from the coastal shores of the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.

         Inland lakes and ponds will also be considered.

         “Use of this high-tech equipment will also make it possible to measure chemical, physical and microbiological water variables such as temperature, chlorophyll, oxygen, algal blooms and salinity, and other parameters that help determine its [the location’s] quality and suitability for aquaculture,” says Inapesca.

         The drones are being fitted with a special high-resolution camera and other equipment that can distinguish the shape and size of bodies of water. They can also be used to obtain other valuable information such as types of surfaces, and crop status in agriculture.

         The agency says the information captured will be integrated into a database and an image “catalogue” which will be made available to researchers and to institutions dedicated to research in aquaculture, fisheries and agricultural production.

         Information from the national fisheries institute, which comes under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa), suggests that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) might also be fitted with infra-red cameras.

         Apparently, thermal imaging could prove helpful recording and measuring chemical, physical and microbiological water variables, such as salinity, temperature, chlorophyll levels, oxygen and algal blooms in “heavily inaccessible” locations.

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