Fishermen Encouraged to Watch Out for Bright Orange SAILDRONES in Eastern Gulf of Maine Beginning August 28, 2023

From NOAA Fisheries via NEFMC

Saildrone Gulf of Maine Mapping Project Announcement (click for charts and coordinates)

Fishermen who work in the eastern Gulf of Maine will want to be on the lookout for two wind-propelled surface vehicles that will be operating in the area from August 28 through October 18, 2023. These vehicles, called SAILDRONE VOYAGERs, are bright orange.

PLEASE NOTE: The vehicles are not crewed. They operate independently around-the-clock under wind and solar power.


NOAA Fisheries has asked the New England Fishery Management Council to help inform fishermen about the presence of these uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) in order to prevent interactions with fishing gear. NOAA Fisheries and Saildrone Inc. are using the USVs for research purposes to collect high-resolution seafloor bathymetry and backscatter data along predetermined survey tracklines.

  • Charts and survey coordinates are available in this flyer.

NOAA Fisheries and Saildrone said, “Fishing vessel operators who use fixed gears should avoid setting gear in areas planned for survey to help limit any risk of entanglement between the SAILDRONE VOYAGERS’ sound velocity profile casts and vertical lines.”
SAILDRONE VOYAGERs are equipped with radar, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), and cameras. They operate at speeds between 2-4 knots, moving between a series of predetermined waypoints. Vehicles are monitored remotely 24/7 by the Saildrone Mission Control Team.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS: Anyone with questions about this NOAA Fisheries research project should contract Heather Coleman at [email protected].

SAILDRONE QUESTIONS: Questions about the SAILDRONE VOYAGERS should be directed to:

Additional information is available in the flyer, which states, “Vessels are requested to transit the (eastern Gulf of Maine survey) area with caution and remain greater than 500 meters away from the USVs.”

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