“Whale Alert” app Available to Mariners

Whale Alert screen view. Image provided by NOAA.

One of the hottest whale-related stories on the internet involves a new iPad and iPhone app that has been created to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.  NOAA has teamed up with a variety of partners to develop an application, available for free, that provides near real-time information about the location of NARWs within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the shipping lanes of Boston. The application also provides information on conservation measures in the areas that the ships are transiting.

This a clever, well-thought method to protect a species with a population number hovering between 450-500 individuals. It makes excellent use of new technology and research to provide all necessary information to those who ply our coastal waters to make their living, it assists sanctuary managers in knowing the movements of whales within the sanctuary, and it does so at no cost to mariners.

The other hot story involves a potential substitute for the ambrein that is removed from ambergris. Ambrein is a prized compound for use in perfumes. That will be tomorrow’s blog.

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