App aims to spare whales from ships in Atlantic

April 8, 2012 • Business

FILE – In this April 10, 2008 file photo, a North Atlantic right whale dives in Cape Cod Bay near Provincetown, Mass. The International Fund for Animal Welfare led the development of a new Whale Alert app for iPhones and iPads, which uses information from underwater microphones off the coast of New England to help mariners avoid striking the mammals. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

BOSTON (AP) — Even at a sturdy 70 tons, the North Atlantic right whale is no match for the huge ships that cross its path carrying cargo, passengers and the threat of lethal collisions.

Now, a new app for the iPad or iPhone aims to help mariners avoid the rare whales so they don’t strike them.

The Whale Alert app takes information from underwater microphones to locate the whales in real time, which helps ships in New England waters avoid the species’ estimated 550 remaining whales.

The app also uses the GPS feature on iPads or iPhones to alert mariners if they’re 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.

Preventing even one fatal ship strike can have a lasting effect on the right whale population.

“Right whales are being run over by large ships and killed, but we can save Login to read more

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