PORTLAND, Maine — With summer whale watching season fast approaching, conservation advocates and government agencies who want to protect whales say a mobile app designed to help mariners steer clear of the animals is helping keep them alive.
The Whale Alert app provides a real-time display of the ocean and the position of the mariner’s ship, along with information about where whales have been seen or heard recently. It also provides information on speed restrictions and restricted areas, and recommends routes shippers can take to avoid endangered species such as the blue whale and the North Atlantic right whale.
New England whale watching companies are gearing up for summer, and more than a quarter of the entire North Atlantic right whale population visited Cape Cod Bay this season. That means conditions are perfect to get more mariners and the public on board with protecting whales, said Patrick Ramage, whale program director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.