(CMR) The Cayman Islands will be among 10 overseas territories participating in an underwater wildlife monitoring system to measure the success of the UK's ocean conservation efforts.
The world's largest underwater monitoring system will be installed by the UK government over the next few months.
The network of cameras on carbon fiber sticks will monitor more than 4 million square kilometers of the ocean, making it the largest undertaking of its kind by any national government. The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said the project will cost 2 million pounds and will run for four years.
The camera network is part of the global initiative 30 by 30, in which countries around the world, including the US, UK, and Canada, pledged to work to conserve at least 30 percent of the world's oceans by 2030. These countries have been attempting to grow ocean wildlife by setting up marine parks and other special ocean zones where people cannot fish.
This project will show how successful the UK's efforts have been so far and what more can be done to improve wildlife protection. It is expected to provide never-before-recorded information about what's going on in parts of the ocean far from shore, where it has previously been hard to monitor and record wildlife population sizes and density.
The project will use Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS), a technology first adopted by scientists in Australia, to film and photograph wild marine life populations far off the territories' coasts.
The BRUVS system works by suspending multiple cameras set up on carbon fiber frames 10 meters underwater in deep ocean areas, NBC's Alexandra Marquez explains. Marquez said teams could collect up to 100 samples over seven to 10 days in a certain area at sea to get a snapshot of what the fish and wildlife populations look like at a certain point in time.