If you are ready to contribute to our efforts to reduce ship strikes to whales along the west coast, head to the coast on land or at sea - just download the Spotter Pro app first! Contact email@example.com for more information regarding login and sign-up.
Download the Spotter Pro app here.
See the Spotter Pro user guide and FAQs to learn more.
In partnership with California’s Marine Sanctuaries, Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue) is aiming to use science and innovative technology to protect endangered whales from being injured or killed by commercial vessel traffic in the increasingly busy shipping lanes off the west coast.
Point Blue worked with Cordell Bank and the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries to help design new shipping lanes into the San Francisco Bay to reduce the risk of collisions between whales and ships within the Sanctuaries. These new shipping routes, along with new changes in the Santa Barbara Channel, recently went into effect. Although the shipping lane changes are a step in the right direction, more can be done to address this issue.
Whales and their food are in constant motion, which makes it difficult to track their locations from day to day. New shipping lanes reduce the overlap between vessel traffic and the whale’s preferred habitat, but they still cross very important habitat for endangered whales south of the Farallon Islands and northeast of Cordell Bank.
That is where Spotter Pro comes in. This new smart phone/tablet application was developed by Conserve.IO and is a publicly available and user-friendly way for just about anyone to report whale sightings on the west coast. It is intended to be used by researchers, commercial ship operators, charter fishing boat operators, whale watching naturalists, and recreational and commercial fishers to document whale sightings in real time.
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The data will provide NOAA with information they need to request the US Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service to ask ship operators to slow down or change course as they approach areas where whales have been sighted.