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Using ROVs to control lionfish populations?

By Shane Graber - Posted Jun 10, 2013 11:00 AM
The invasive lionfish have just gotten a new predator: underwater remotely operated vehicles!
Using ROVs to control lionfish populations?

Concept for using the OpenROV to hunt lionfish.

Last June I covered the OpenROV project - an open source underwater remotely operated vehicle that can be built by anyone for under $1000. The OpenROV opens up underwater exploration for many people that did not have access to this kind of technology before. NASA has even evaluated OpenROV at Aquarius and found it a capable little vehicle.

Now people that have built OpenROVs of their own are contemplating a new use for them: controlling the invasive lionfish. How might you ask? By installing spearguns to the chasis, of course. It would be cooler to see friggin lasers, but a speargun is still cool too. :) A number of design concepts are being put forward by the community and some are indeed looking promising, with the ability to be reloaded without having to come back to the surface. Unfortunately it will take a lot of OpenROV operators to make a dent in the lionfish population, but every speared lionfish counts!

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.


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