The Whale Alert app is a new free iOS app designed to help save critically endangered North Atlantic right whales by reducing the threat of them colliding with large ships along the East Coast of North America. The app is the result of a multi-organisation effort that brings together government, academia, private sector industries and IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare). The app works by providing mariners and others with one-stop shopping for all right whale management measures using easy-to-use nautical chart-displayed information, and is able to link the bridge of a ship to the latest data about right whale detections, as well as informing users when their vessels enter right whale management areas.
"Endangered right whales are being run over and killed by ships, but we can save them. This new iPad app helps keep whales and ships apart and gives them a fighting chance," said Patrick Ramage, IFAW's Whale Program Director. "Imagine a world where endangered right whales use iPads and iPhones to alert ship captains that they are in the area. That dream is now reality and IFAW is very proud to be part of the team that made it happen."
One of the appâ€™s key features is a display that links a system of near real-time acoustic buoys that listen for right whale calls to an iPhone or iPad on a shipâ€™s bridge, showing the whaleâ€™s whereabouts to captains transiting the shipping lanes in and around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The app also uses GPS, Automatic Identification System and the Web, and digital nautical chart technologies to alert mariners to NOAAâ€™s right whale conservation measures that are active in their immediate vicinity.
North Atlantic right whales, which live along North Americaâ€™s east coast, from Newfoundland to Florida, are one of the worldâ€™s rarest large animals and a species on the brink of extinction. Only about 450 of them exist, so few, in fact, that scientists have been able to identify and name nearly all of them. Collision of ships is a leading cause of right whale death.
Click here to download the free app: App Store - Whale Alert - Ship Strike Reduction for Right Whales
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