TODAY |

Niue trialling drones to catch illegal fishing boats, help with search and rescue

The Pacific island of Niue is trialling drones to catch illegal fishing boats and help with search and rescue.

Auckland company X-craft has provided the expertise and technology expected to be a game-changer for the region.

"What we are talking about is shrinking down the ability of any illegal fishing to go undetected - you've got it from space, you've got it from air and ocean as well," x-craft CEO Philip Solaris told 1 NEWS.

Low earth orbit satellites will take images of the area identifying anything of interest.

Then a drone will be sent out to those co-ordinates to investigate, filming evidence of illegal activity if necessary.

"Images from space are all very well but you really need to get close up detailed data if it's to proceed in court," Mr Solaris says.

As well as drones, unmanned boats and hydrophones - which sense activity under the ocean's surface - are also being tested.

It's crucial, as 40 per cent of Niue's exclusive economic zone is closed to commercial fishing.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Kiwi company XCraft has provided the expertise and technology expected to be a game-changer. Source: 1 NEWS