Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 36 of 83 | 37 GHM : So are Saildrones the research ships of the future? RJ: For now, we don't consider Saildrone a replacement. Scientists still have to catch fish and do certain types of testing that Saildrones don't have the ability to do. However, we can augment the research and do most of the long, tedious and expensive work, thereby reducing costs significantly. GHM : How many Saildrones are there currently? RJ: Right now we have 10 working Saildrones. But we're ramping up our production facility and we expect to be able to build one per day. Our goal is 250 per year. Long term, I think we can cover the entire planet with 1,000 Saildrones. GHM : And what about bad weather or pirates who pilfer and plunder? RJ: We've never lost one to weather, although we have had some injuries. We had one in the southern ocean that got hit by a 23-meter wave (75-ft.), which was the largest wave ever recorded. The Saildrone was still able to limp back to port even though it battled 55-knot winds for three weeks. GHM : And those pirates? RJ: We've traveled more than 250,000 miles and haven't had any interactions. I think it's partly because the drones are thousands of miles offshore and they're constantly moving. So far, we've been fortunate. We mostly just get selfies from fishermen showing the drone in the background. GHM : What about red snapper? Can Saildrones help? RJ: We get lots of requests to do something in the Gulf, such as fish stock assessments on snapper and tuna. Those aren't currently in the pipeline but we certainly hope they are in the future. We are doing fish surveys currently along the entire Pacific Coast from Canada down to Mexico. GHM : Will Saildrones replace stationary data-collection buoys one day? RJ: We're not currently replacing buoys, but the beauty of the Saildrone is that it can hold station within 50 ft. And you don't have to go out to sea to service it like you do with buoys. Plus, in some places, pieces and parts of buoys get stolen, like lights, batteries and solar panels that end up on the black market. So, I think using Saildrones in place of buoys is potentially a strong application in the future for the drone. GHM : I need another expensive toy. How much does one cost? RJ: We don't sell vehicles. We sell data as a service. We have a flat fee of $2,500 per day, which is very affordable considering some ships cost more than $25,000 or more per day to charter. We don't charge for service or transit times. There are no upfront cost. Basically, we do everything, but at a fraction of the cost. Left: An infographic showing the various data that each saildrone collects.

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