[Coral-List] Underwater imagery, video, IA and surveillance

HARDCASTLE James James.HARDCASTLE at iucn.org
Mon Apr 19 07:49:40 UTC 2021

Dear Coral Listers,

Firstly, many thanks to all of you for keeping this network alive, active and interesting.

At the IUCN Global Protected and Conserved Areas programme we continue to support better area-based marine conservation for coral reefs worldwide. One of the key programmes is the IUCN Green List, which is applicable to MPAs.

Within the framework of supporting MPA 'Green List' candidates, we have an interesting request - a coral reef restoration and locally-managed marine area wish to use underwater camera technology for monitoring and surveillance, to help improve site-based conservation.

There is a tech company partner interested to invest in the site.

One option proposed is for a 'livestream' of the reef area in question, with a buoy-based support unit linked to strategically positioned camera units in the required marine area, ie near key reef features and/or restored/replanted reef segments. Imagery would be livestreamed, as per a CCTV set-up (showing my age there...).

We are asked to advise on:

-       Any existing uses of underwater imagery for monitoring or surveillance?

-       What could be the conservation value of such technology - live capture of images, underwater 'camera traps', surveillance, species monitoring?

-       The potential impacts of using such a technology (physical, social, legal etc.)

While we have some initial ideas on a response, it would be really helpful if anyone has further ideas or experiences. For those really interested, we could also look at a small technical advisory group and share more details, in confidence for now (as per local partners' and company permission).

Many thanks for a response by next week - 26th April 2021,

Best regards

James Hardcastle and Deviah Aiama,
IUCN Global Protected and Conserved Areas Programme


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