A new app for the iPad or iPhone which aims to help vessel collisions with rare right whales off the east coast of the United States has been launched in the hope that an already small population can survive into the future. The Whale Alert app takes information from underwater microphones to locate the whales in real time, which may help mariners in New England waters avoid the remaining whales 500 whales estimated to be left. A GPS feature also alerts ships if they are entering areas where right whales were spotted, or are known to frequent, along their migratory route from Florida to Maine. Those zones have mandatory or voluntary speed restrictions.
WDCS’s US executive director, Regina Asmutis-Silvia said; “The app is a great tool to increase awareness and enable mariners to know when they are within the boundaries of the current speed restricted areas as dictated by the speed rule. We remain hopeful that, if NOAA is supporting the development of this app, that they will also support the continuation of the speed rule, now scheduled to sunset in December 2013.”
Download the app from the iTunes store.