Kelp and seaweed recovery

In the summer of 2019 NIWA and the University of Canterbury completed aerial drone surveys of many sites along the Kaikōura coast to examine the survival of vulnerable kelp species such as bull kelp (Durvillaea spp). This included testing the relative accuracy of readily available “RGB” cameras, and enhanced spectral cameras (multispectral cameras). This research revealed that both RGB and multispectral cameras can be used effectively for mapping broad scale distribution of marine vegetation (i.e., kelp), but multispectral cameras can be used to examine species biodiversity at higher taxonomic resolution. NIWA and UC researchers will now be examining kelp and seaweed distribution across a broader range of locations, and tracking the recovery through time.

View of the M200 UAV platform during a multispectral survey of Oaro Reef. Picture by Brendon Smith.

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