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All Things Considered

UNH Smartphone App Helps Ships Avoid Endangered Whales

whalealert041212.jpg
Courtesy NOAA
/
A screenshot of the WhaleALERT app on an iPad.

It’s believed that the population of North Atlantic right whales off the New England coast is down to just 300-400.

The whales have been classified as endangered for decades, yet the remaining whales still face threats – including the often large threat of collisions with ships.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping have developed an early warning system of sorts – through a smartphone app called WhaleAlert.

Kurt Schwehr, a GIS data engineer at Google and an affiliate assistant professor at CCOM, tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the app.