[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln8AX7n4ftA&w=560&h=315]

The Vancouver Aquarium has been at the forefront of marine conservation since 1956. Having been an aquarist there myself for seven years, I have remained a strong advocate and fan of the great work they do. Most recently, the Vancouver Aquarium worked with American researchers to use a Hexacopter drone, also known as an unmanned aircraft, to monitor whale pods for the first time. Scientists were able to gain a new perspective of the whales from the drone view, allowing them to view the whales at angles not available through boat view or typical underwater cameras. Specifically, the scientists will be able to study the pregnancy of the whales in detail. Normally, a scientist studying a whale from a boat would be unable to track the whales when they dive in the water. Along with offering a different viewpoint to study the whales from, the use of the drones does not impact the whales personal space and is less invasive than traditional manned boats or dives. Scientists plan to continue using the drones for research. MORE

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