September 1, 2022 By Helicopters Staff
Schiebel Group is providing its CAMCOPTER S-100 remotely piloted aircraft to support the global environment and wildlife protection activities of Earthrace Conservation, a non-profit organization.
The CAMCOPTER S-100 is deployed onboard the Earthrace vessel called M/Y MODOC, which is currently active in South America to detect and monitor activities like illegal fishing, wildlife smuggling and poaching, as well as locating illegal gold mining operations.
A July operation involving Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 monitored a Chinese squid fleet in international waters west of the Galapagos Islands. Several ships have been accused of various illegal activities in recent years, including: fishing illegally in Ecuadorian and Argentinian waters; spoofing of Automatic Identification System (AIS) by transmitting fake GPS data; and human rights violations.
The S-100 conducted regular flights from M/Y MODOC for close monitoring and assessment of the fleet and its activities outside the Ecuadorian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). With an estimated 500 vessels, the Chinese squid fleet is one of the largest on the planet.
“The S-100 significantly broadens the MODOC’s area of operation and allows us to keep a close watch on the fleet,” said Earthrace founder Captain Pete Bethune. “The fact that they are being observed has already led to a reduction in illegal activities.”
The CAMCOPTER S-100 deployed with Earthrace is equipped with a Trakka TC-300 Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera gimbal and an AIS receiver.
“Detecting illegal activities from the sky, using an Unmanned Air Vehicle, is a hugely important capability for Earthrace’s missions and its endeavour of protecting the environment and wildlife for future generations,” said Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman, Schiebel Group.