Whale Safe: A tool to mitigate whale attacks

- Advertisement -


This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.

- Advertisement -

introduction

- Advertisement -

No one wins when a ship arrives at a port with a critically endangered whale wrapped around its bow just below the company’s brand logo. Recently, it has been observed that due to the rapidly changing marine ecosystem and deteriorating ocean health, whales are often ripped off the surface and killed by huge container ships and ships. According to scientists, every year more than 80 endangered whales are killed by shipwrecks off the west coast, although only 5-17% of carcasses are recovered as most sink to the ocean floor. To prevent this, the University of California Santa Barbara’s Benioff Ocean Initiative is working with some leading scientists to track whale and shipping activity in a way called a “whale safe” to reduce the risk of potential whale-ship collisions. equipment can be made.

In this article, we will take a look at the proposed method. Let’s join in now!

- Advertisement -

Highlight

The University of California Santa Barbara’s Benioff Ocean Initiative is working with some leading scientists to track whale and shipping activity to create a “whale safe” tool to reduce the risk of potential whale-ship collisions.

In addition to sharing whale data, the tool also displays shipping activity derived from internationally designated shipping lanes, voluntary vessel speed reduction zones, and automated identification systems (AIS).

The Whale Presence Rating System combines whale sightings (visual observation data), acoustic whale detection (acoustic recognition data), and a blue whale model to provide a real-time assessment of whale presence for each region.

Speeders can be caught using Whale Safe, and with its help, customers can track to see if the cruise they’re considering is operated by a company with a history of breaking ocean speed restrictions. Is.

What is whale safe and how does it work?

Whale Safe is a technology-driven mapping and analysis tool that displays whale and ship data in real time. It is designed to prevent fatal ship collisions with endangered whales. The instrument displays acoustic and visual whale detection and a blue whale habitat model which is updated daily according to oceanographic conditions. Each day, these three whale data sources are combined to generate a unified whale presence rating (low, medium, high, very high).

In addition to sharing whale data, the tool also displays shipping activity derived from internationally designated shipping lanes, voluntary vessel speed reduction zones, and automated identification systems (AIS). Whale Safe also has a reporting system that compiles AIS data to identify which ships and companies best follow voluntary motion recommendations by NOAA to protect endangered whales along the California coast.

The tool’s functionality allows users to sign up for email updates on whale data and whale-safe shipping.

Figure 1: Diagram showing the process of determining the presence of a whale (Source: Binature)

The procedure for determining the presence of a whale is shown in Figure 1. As we discussed earlier, the whale presence rating system combines whale sighting (visual observation data), acoustic whale identification (acoustic recognition data), and a blue whale model to provide it. Real time assessment of whale presence for each area. The following explains the whole process:

1. Detection of acoustic data: Acoustic monitoring devices such as a hydrophone equipped with a small computing device are used to detect the vocalizations of blue, humpback and fin whales.

2. Visual observation data: Trained observers record whale sightings on tour boats and whale watches or aircraft with a mobile app. The Whale Alert and Spotter Pro mobile apps are used to record the location, species and behavior of whales, which are transmitted to the database once the boat docks. These observations are combined with information gathered from routine aerial surveys of shipping lanes in the Santa Barbara Channel.

3. Blue whale model: This model uses data collected from 104 satellite-tagged blue whales to link whale presence to environmental conditions (eg, sea surface temperature, water column properties, salinity, chlorophyll-a, etc.). uses. Then, the model calculates the probability of a blue whale sighting within each 10 km x 10 km grid cell for the Southern California Bight and San Francisco area based on environmental conditions present the day before.

4. Whale Presence Ratings: The above three (1, 2, and 3) are compiled and validated near real-time whale data streams to provide a real-time assessment of whale presence for each region (see Figure 2). Whale Presence Ratings aims to reduce the risk of ship collisions with endangered whales by providing a simple data-driven assessment of whale presence to the shipping industry, natural resource managers and the general public.

Figure 2: Whale Presence Rating Chart (Source: WhaleSafe)

5. Whale information is shared with the public, industry and managers.

Whale safe’s role in stopping fast moving ships

The Whale Safe was tested in the Santa Barbara Channel in 2020. Based on project data, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued guidelines according to which larger ships must pass at speeds of 10-12 knots or less. San Francisco to Santa Barbara Channel and Greater Farallon National Marine Sanctuary during whales’ summer feeding season.

Whale Safe Ships analyzes location data transmitted by transponders to determine whether a ship is slowing down and assigns a letter grade that rates companies’ compliance. It also lets customers track whether the cruise they’re considering is being operated by a company with a history of violating sea speed limits. For example, France’s CMA CGM SA, the world’s third largest container shipping company, receives data directly from Whale Safe and notifies captains when they need to slow down. Specifically, based on data made public by the Whale Safe Group, about 40% of ship traffic in the Santa Barbara and Bay Area vessel speed reduction areas did not slow down to 10 knots.

impact of whale safe

In 2019, five ship strikes of endangered whales were recorded in Southern California, and four deaths were reported, including a blue whale that was found wrapped around the bow of a cruise as it Arrived at the port of Long Beach. Later in 2020, incidents were reduced to two strikes and one death in the buoy’s first year of operation. Also, last year, the Santa Barbara Channel reported no whale collisions or fatalities.

Challenges related to this project

1. More floats will enable more accurate detection of endangered whales. However, the buoys cost approximately $250,000 to build and $200,000 to operate.

2. Not all whales actively make sounds and make noises on the surface, eg. Gray whales, so the absence of detection does not necessarily indicate that no whales are present. In addition, it needs to be noted that the buoy does not provide information about the exact location or number of whales present.

3. Surveys are not static and areas are not guaranteed to cross paths with all whales, so the lack of whale sightings does not necessarily mean that whales do not exist.

conclusion

To sum it up, in this article, we learned the following:

1. The University of California Santa Barbara’s Benioff Ocean Initiative is working with some leading scientists to track whale and shipping activity to create a “whale safe” tool to reduce the risk of potential whale-ship collisions .

2. In addition to sharing whale data, the tool also displays shipping activity taken from internationally assigned shipping lanes, voluntary vessel speed reduction zones, and Automated Identification Systems (AIS).

3. The Whale Presence Rating System combines whale sightings (visual observation data), acoustic whale detection (acoustic recognition data), and a blue whale model to provide a real-time assessment of whale presence for each region.

4. Whales can be caught using Safe Speeders, and with its help, customers can even track them to determine if the cruise they’re considering is operated by a company that doesn’t have a sea level. Has a history of violating speed limits.

5. Not all whales actively make sounds and surface murmurs, for example gray whales, so the absence of identification does not necessarily indicate that no whales are present. In addition, it needs to be noted that the buoy does not provide information about the exact location or number of whales present.

That ends this article. Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or concerns, please post them in the comments section below. Happy Learning!

Link to Whale Safe website: https://whalesafe.com/methodology/

Link to Whale Alert App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.earthnc.whalealert&hl=en&gl=US

Link to Spotter Pro: http://conserve.io/spotter-pro

The media shown in this article is not owned by Analytics Vidya and is used at the sole discretion of the author.

related



Source link

- Advertisement -

Recent Articles

Related Stories