By Jayson Horadam and Emma Doyle
In recent months, several MPA managers in the Caribbean region have been approached by various firms that produce drone technology. These firms have marketed the potential benefits of air- or sea-based drones to MPA management, particularly with regard to enforcement. (We acknowledge that drones may also be of use in environmental monitoring of MPAs, but we focus here on the enforcement implications.)
Drones remain a relatively new technology, and few MPA managers have direct experience with them yet. In this light, some of the MPA managers who have been approached asked us for our input on the value of drones. We are providing our advice here in hopes that it may be of use to the broader MPA community, beyond just the Caribbean.