As the whale watching season approaches around New England, (USA) more boat captains are finding that a Whale Alert app is helping to avoid whale collisions.
The app provides a real-time display of the ocean and the position of the mariner’s ship, along with information about where the whales are located as opposed to a pinpointed location because of concerns about the possibility of recreational boaters attempting to get close to the animal. It also provides information on speed restrictions and restricted areas, and recommends routes shippers can take to avoid endangered species such as the blue whale and the North Atlantic right whale.
33,000 users have downloaded the app, which first came out four years ago, and recent changes such as giving civilians the ability to report whale sightings have made it more popular.
Collisions with high speed ships are one of the leading causes of death for some species of whales, and many mariners often try to navigate around them using outdated equipment. Alaskan cruise ships began using the tool this month.