The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is approaching the protection of endangered whales from a whole new perspective. Due to the rapidly decreasing numbers of the North Atlantic right whale, NOAA has collaborated with other governmental, academic and non-profit organizations to develop an iPad app to help reduce the leading cause of right whale deaths: collisions with ships.
The app tracks the calls of whales using acoustic buoys and transmits them to the iPad so ships know the location of any nearby whales in order to avoid collisions.
It also suggests areas to avoid, alternative routes, speed restrictions and reminders of rules and regulations in certain sailing areas.
Michael Leone, the port director for the Massachusetts Port Authority, says he is proud to be a part of the effort to spread reform. “We are working with our cruise and shipping vessel partners to educate mariners about the whales, and the importance of this great new tool.”
The product is a reflection of how important collaboration and technology are to real progress.
“Whale conservation is greater than any one organization and this project shows how many organizations can unite for a good cause,” says David Wiley, the research coordinator of NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Get the free download here.
Photo courtesy of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary