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SharkEye project: Drones with AI to Spot Sharks

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

A new project using AI called SharkEye is seeking to keep track of great white sharks swimming near Southern California beaches. A goal of the project is to produce automated “shark reports” for beachgoers to help them gauge levels of risk. SharkEye has been tested over the past two summers at Padaro Beach in Santa Barbara County. Instead of tracking tagged animals online or having someone stand on a paddleboard in the water, the SharkEye project launches a drone that travels along a pre-programmed path in the sky, followed by a second meandering route to scan the water below. The drone footage goes into a computer model that the team trained to recognize great white sharks. Combining that with other data, such as information on ocean temperature and other marine life migrations, researchers hope to use the power of AI to develop predictions for when and where sharks will show up that could lead to ways to share the ocean as safely as possible.


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