Tag Archives: IFAW

“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.

Final Night of Man and Whales: Changing Views Through Time

"Whale" by William Daniell, 1807. From Whaling Museum Kendall Collection

Stranded Whales: Commodity and Conservation, May 18

(NEW BEDFORD, MA) – Man and Whales: Changing Views Through Time, a free public lecture series at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, concludes on Wednesday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater with a lecture titled “Stranded Whales: Commodity and Conservation.” A reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery precedes the lecture. Admission is free.

Before the Marine Mammal Protection Act was created, a stranded whale was destined to become food, oil and a host of other products.  Now, these animals are considered a source of information for whale/human interactions.

Michael P. Dyer, Maritime Curator, New Bedford Whaling Museum, will take us back in history to when littoral peoples (seaside dwellers) scanned the shorelines in hopes of finding a stranded whale or dolphin.  This discussion will then shift forward to when stranded animals offered the rudiments of scientific understanding and ultimately the impetus toward actual whale hunting for commercial products and profit.

Katie Touhey Moore, Marine Mammal Rescue and Program Research Manager, International Fund for Animal Welfare, has been actively involved in rescue and rehabilitation of stranded cetaceans, as well as investigating and documenting the reasons for the deaths of these animals.  Katie will guide us through the process of assessment and attempted rescue and release. She will also elaborate on the knowledge gained from the necropsies.

As a finale to the Man & Whales lectures, the Whaling Museum is offering a unique opportunity to meet whales on Saturday, May 21. A special whale watch trip is available in partnership with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, departing from the Whaling Museum at 8:00 a.m. to Capt. John Boats, 10 Town Wharf, Plymouth Harbor. Tickets are $75 per person, payable in advance, and include roundtrip transportation. Reservations are required and seating is limited. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Whaling Museum and WDCS. Please call Museum Admissions, 508-997-0046 ext.100, to RSVP for the free lectures and/or sign up for the whale watch.

This series is sponsored by ECHO (Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations) a program administered by the U.S. Dept. of Education. Offered in partnership with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.