The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) will be using underwater robots to gather data about marine life, their biodiversity, and generate multidimensional digital maps of their habitats. In a 17-week pilot study, this activity will integrate aerial and underwater data to analyse the impact of climate change on marine life.
Underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and drones will be used to gather data which will be compared to traditional surveys conducted by divers.
Sultan Alwan, Acting Undersecretary at MOCCAE, said, “MOCCAE is keen to leverage innovative technologies in its sustainability drive. The study aligns with the Ministry’s commitment to assessing the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems with the aim of informing its efforts to protect them and safeguard aquatic life. It will also advance research in this area through verifying the success and accuracy of new technologies in surveying underwater habitats.”
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“We will make the results available to entities concerned with marine work and academic institutions in the UAE. We hope to motivate experts, researchers, and students to embark on similar exercises based on developing and blending new technologies and putting them to the test to ensure their effectiveness,” he added.
Studies have shown that there could be irreparable damage to the ecosystem of the ocean, taking into consideration that the greenhouse effect is causing the sweater to rise in temperature.
The project puts special interest on seagrass, creeks, and especially on the coral reef which is under serious threat due to increasing temperature. The current plan of action is to use initiatives like genetic modification of corals to restore their ability to regenerate.