Whale Alert - West Coast

We are a collaborative effort to prevent ship strikes and help save whales.  The Whale Alert - West Coast program was formed to help prevent endangered whales from being injured or killed by commercial vessel strikes in the increasingly busy shipping lanes off the West Coast, particularly off California.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has identified ship strikes are a threat to endangered blue, humpback, and fin whales in the Eastern Pacific.  Between 1988 and 2012, there were at least 100 documented large whale ship strikes along the California coast.  Actual numbers could be at least 10 times higher than documented.

There's an app for that.  Whale Alert - West Coast aims to use science, innovative technology, and collaborative community effort to decrease ship strikes to whales.  A key component of this effort is the use of downloadable apps, Whale Alert 2.0 and Spotter Pro, by nature lovers, fishers, and mariners.  With these user-friendly applications, it is possible for just about anyone to report whale sightings.  The Spotter Pro  app is intended for use by researchers, commercial ship operators, charter fishing boat operators, whale watching naturalists, and recreational and commercial fishers, while the Whale Alert 2.0 app will be aimed for use by the general public.  Both apps will be used to document whale sightings in real-time.  Data collected through these apps by citizens and professionals helps NOAA fill in the information gap needed to request the U.S. Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service to ask ship operators to slow down or change course as they approach areas where whales are present.


Here’s how you can help:

ENGAGE in whale watching activities on land and at sea.  Find out where and when to go and also learn  to watch whales responsibly by using ocean etiquette.

LEARN about the species you’ll find on the west coast along with the latest data showing where the whales are.  You’ll also learn what makes the whales so attracted to these “hot spots” along the coast.

DOWNLOAD the Whale Alert 2.0 or Spotter Pro app and start recording your sightings!



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