Did you know?
SLGO is the first integrated ocean observing system in Canada.
Large whales are vulnerable to collisions with all vessel types, sizes, and classes throughout the world's oceans. When large vessels such as container ships are involved, the ships crew may be unaware a strike has occurred. As such, the number of ship strikes to whales is likely under reported. The Whale Alert app allows users to report observations of presence of whales, wether alive, dead or in a vulnerable state, which provides crucial information for researchers and decision makers.
Whale Alert was first launched in April of 2012 as a free app for iPads and iPhones to display speed zone regulations and whale management areas on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. The target audience was the shipping industry and the app focused on easing compliance with existing regulations by displaying these measures on easy-to-read nautical charts with pop-up alerts to serve as reminders when vessels enter regulated areas. The mix of real-time (or near real-time) data projected over the internet to smart phones and tablets made compliance measures much easier to understand and act upon.
In addition to protecting right whales, Whale Alert now incorporates a long list of threatened and endangered species such as the blue whale, and covers Canadian and US Pacific waters as well, making this tool national and international in scope and impact. And with the newly designed two-way interface, the users can now play a direct role in the conservation of these species by reporting sightings of live, dead and distressed animals. Whale Alert 2.0 is available on both Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) platforms.
The Whale Alert network is comprised of regional efforts on the East and West coasts of the United States (and beyond) to reduce ship strikes and other human activities that threaten species recovery. Network members utilize various areas of expertise including technology, research, outreach, and education to increase the effectiveness of whale strike preventive measures.