Scientists have developed a technology-driven mapping tool to prevent ships from hitting whales off the U.S. west coast.
The system is called whale safety. It uses devices placed in the ocean to identify the presence of whales in the surrounding area. The tool also records shipping activity and shipping speed. The data collected is then sent via satellite to scientists who examine it and seek to guide ship operators.
The system’s developers say it can generate near real-time information about nearby whale activity.
Whale Safe already operates near ports in Southern California. It recently launched north of the San Francisco Bay.
There is a problem with boats hitting whales in the bay. Last month, wildlife officials reported the latest suspected case. A humpback whale washed ashore in San Francisco Bay with injuries suggesting the animal was killed in a ship strike.
The Marine Mammal Center near San Francisco said it was the fifth whale killed in a ship strike in the area this year. Wildlife officials point out that the actual number of whales killed by boats may be much higher because carcasses of dead animals are rarely found.
Humpback whales travel to California to feed in the summer and fall before migrating south to the coast of Mexico to breed. They are one of the most endangered whales in the world. An estimated 35,000 to 40,000 remain in the wild. The Marine Mammal Centre said the main threats to humpback whales were attacks from boats and being trapped by fishing and abandoned equipment.
The whale safety system is designed to identify and protect several different species, including humpback, blue, fin and grey whales. It does this using three methods. First, it uses floating devices, called buoys, to record the sounds the whales make. Second, it uses computer models to process current and historical ocean data to predict where whales are most likely to be.Third, it allows trained observers and citizens to report whale sightings via cell phones application.
The Whale Safety Project is supported by the UC Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center and the Benioff Marine Science Laboratory. Other organizations and government agencies are also collaborating on the project.
The system’s developers say the expansion of Whale Safe to San Francisco shows that the system can be effectively deployed to other parts of the United States and the world.
Officials at the Marine Mammal Center said they plan to expand the system to other areas where whales face a high risk of being struck by boats. These regions include parts of the East Coast of the United States. Worldwide, such areas include waters off Sri Lanka, Chile, Greece and Spain’s Canary Islands.
Jeff Boehm is director of the Marine Mammal Center.He said the whale safety system combines the latest technology with thoughtful Protect Efforts to “create a solution to reduce the risk to whales”. Boehm added: “This is where technology meets nature benefit or marine life. “
Douglas McCauley is director of the Benioff Marine Science Laboratory. Ship strikes killing whales were “an avoidable problem,” he said in a statement.
“We can no longer Passive Watchers of endangered whales washed ashore along the beaches of San Francisco,” Macaulay said. He added: “Whale Safe is a collaborative effort between marine scientists, technologists, conservation groups, business leaders and government partners to make a point of this issue. exciting time for things. “
I’m Brian Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story based on reports from the Marine Mammal Center, Benioff Marine Science Laboratory, The Associated Press and Whale Safe.
word in this story
application – One. computer programs that perform special functions, usually found on cell phones
Protect – One.Protect animals, plants and natural resources
Protect – One. helpful or good effect
Passive – adjective Let things happen without taking concrete action
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