Whale Alert helps reduce the chance of fatal ship strikes by large vessels by displaying active whale management areas, required reporting areas, recommended routes, areas-to-be-avoided and near real-time warnings in shipping lanes along both coasts of the United States and Canada. This information allows vessel operators to avoid collision with whales by slowing down and heightening their visual awareness.
Whale Alert now supports reporting of whale sightings by the maritime community and the broader public. This information is shared in real-time with leading whale researchers and state and federal management authorities. In some cases, whale sightings will trigger confirmation “over-flights” by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) or the United States Coast Guard (USCG) who will then determine whether or not temporary speed restrictions should be created (Dynamic Management Areas).
Whale Alert 2.0 features include:
A growing roster of whale protection zones and speed recommendations including:
* NOAA Atlantic Seasonal Management Areas
* NOAA Atlantic Dynamic Management Areas
* NOAA Atlantic MSR Boundaries
* NOAA Atlantic Recommended Routes
* NOAA and IMO Atlantic designated Areas-to-be-Avoided
* NOAA and IMO Traffic Separation Schemes (San Pedro and Santa Barbara Channels)
* NOAA and IMO Traffic Separation Scheme (San Francisco Bay)
* Near Real-time Boston-area Acoustic Whale Detection Buoys (for Right Whales only)
* Dynamic Management Areas via Internet or AIS over WIFI
* Seamless U.S. Nautical Raster Charts
* GPS Position Tracking and Alert for Entering Management Areas
* Whale sighting recording support (form, camera functions)
* Automatic posting of sightings data to central research database
Whale Alert is a collaboration of government agencies, academic institutions, non-profit conservation groups and private sector companies,: Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Boston Harbor Pilots, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire, Conserve.IO, Excelerate Energy, EOM Offshore, Gaia GPS, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Massachusetts Port Authority, NOAA Fisheries Service, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries, , National Park Service, Cape Cod National Seashore, Point Blue Conservation Science, NYK Line (North America), United States Coast Guard and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.