Ship strikes are a leading cause of whale deaths worldwide and kill more than 80 fin, humpback, and blue whales on the U.S. west coast each year. Many of these ships are enormous – waterborne towers that are often unable to detect whales or their spouts.
This has led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish speed reduction programs along both coasts to protect endangered right whales in the Atlantic Ocean (via “Right Whale Slow Zones”) and humpback, gray and blue whales in the Pacific Ocean (through a voluntary speed reduction program). These measures are highly effective at preventing vessels from fatally colliding with whales by 80 – 90 percent, but are not adopted by all maritime ships.
“One of our goals is to provide real-time whale presence data that will help