If you ever thought that being a whale is comfortable, then you’re quite wrong. Whales have to bypass whalers and survive various kinds of pollution, only to be run over by a massive cargo ship. These reports are hard to come by, as captains and crew don’t usually bother to write up something so trivial compared to their daily operations.
However, between 2007 and 2016, up to 1200 such reports have been filed. This year alone, it was uncovered that at least four grey whales were killed by vessels in the Pacific. With 16 confirmed deaths in the North Atlantic region.
Whales detection technology
Because of these incidents, ships will possibly be outfitted with new sensors that detect the presence of whales in front of them. This new technology is being tested by researchers off the coast of British Columbia at this moment in time.
Dan Zitterbart, a physicist at the Woods Gap Oceanographic Institution in Massachusett, says that this early warning system will provide vessels with the opportunity to slow down and altogether avoid incoming whales.
Various infrared cameras are installed on the whale detecting machine. The way they work is by detecting temperature differences between the large mammals and the ocean water. An interface onboard the ship gives the crew more accurate information, making them not be reliant on their standard sonar and radar systems.
Implementation of the new tech
The technology has been in testing for some time now, but an improved version of the machine will be outfitted on Galiano Island’s ferry dock, which is off the coast of Vancouver.
With the sea lanes being heavily occupied by cargo ships, the threat to whale species is genuine. Many of which are in danger of future extinction if things progress in the same way. Zitterbart’s invention may just be the answer to this growing problem that will ensure the safety of whales species across the world.