AI saves whales from deadly ship strikes – Scoop Scoop News

A beloved San Francisco Bay whale washed up dead on shore last August. This was Fran, the most famous and photographed humpback whale in San Francisco Bay, with 277 sightings since 2005.

Fran was the fifth whale confirmed to have been killed in a ship raid in the area that year, he said. Marine Mammal Centre.

Ships, especially huge container ships, are some of the main killers of whales. Scientists appreciate More than 80 endangered whales are killed annually by ship strikes off the West Coast.

To combat this problem, he called a high-tech initiative safe whale Design a solution powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

Project Whale Safe is a whale detection system that displays data close to whales and ships in real time, with the goal of preventing fatal ship collisions with whales. It incorporates audio and video detections of whales with model forecasts to provide mariners with up-to-date information on the presence of whales in crowded shipping areas. This is possible with the help of buoys that carry on-board computers and record whale sounds using underwater microphones.

According to Rachel Rhodes, a project scientist who works to protect whales at the Benioff Oceanographic Laboratory, many populations of whales have been on the verge of extinction over the past hundreds of years, and many species remain threatened today.

“As global shipping continues to increase, it is critical that we implement solutions now to protect endangered whales. Encouraging ships to slow down to reduce the risk of whale ship collisions is a triple win. It saves whales, and helps fight climate change through Carbon sequestration, improves air quality.” “When ships slow down, they emit fewer greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides and other harmful air pollutants that exacerbate diseases like asthma for vulnerable populations like children and the elderly.”

Whale Safe Vessel speed analyses on its website. Using AIS data to monitor the speeds of large vessels, operators are given a report card with an overall score based on how often their fleet follows recommendations to slow down.

The overall coop rate for ships slowed to 10 knots or less in the Santa Barbara Channel in 2020 was about 54%, now it’s nearly 62%, according to Callie Leiphardt, another Whale Safe project scientist in the Benioff Ocean Science Lab.

“This collaboration rate is heading in the right direction, but we’d like to see it closer to 100%, which means we still have more work to do,” Liebhardt said.

Unfortunately, 2018, 2019 and 2021 were some of the worst years on record for ship strikes. Off the coast of California, with 10 confirmed deaths in 2018, 11 deaths in 2019, and eight deaths in 2021.

These reported deaths likely represent only 5% to 17% of deaths due to ship strikes because injured whales tend to sink to the ocean floor upon death, so the actual number could be closer to 100, according to Leiffardt.

Whale deaths can also greatly affect key factors such as ocean health and climate change.

“Whales are among the largest creatures on earth and play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ocean and climate, stabilizing the marine food web, and boosting our economy — whale watching brings in billions of dollars to help stimulate coastal economies around the world,” Liebhardt said.

Researchers have discovered that whales trap large amounts of carbon dioxide in their bodies, while their droppings lead to the growth of phytoplankton, which sequesters a huge amount of carbon from the atmosphere. a A recent study From the International Monetary Fund that protecting whales could be one of the most effective ways to mediate climate change.

Many marine life and whale conservation organizations and projects, such as Whale Safe, continue to work on learning more about whales and ways to mitigate the number of deaths to help preserve both atmospheric and aquatic conditions.

“Whales, like many other animals, face an uncertain future. We need to do everything we can to protect them. Some issues, like climate change and chemical pollution, are very difficult to stop. But for other issues, there are viable solutions,” said Andy Rogan. Director of Science at Ocean Alliance and the biologist of marine mammals.

Whales, like many other animals, face an uncertain future. We need to do everything we can to protect them.”

Andy Rogan

2021 study Frontiers published in Marine Science estimated that whale deaths in the Santa Barbara Channel could be reduced by a third if 95% of ships adhered to the speed limit.

“We continue to engage with shipping companies, navigation software companies, and other key players in the field to try to make our Whale Safe data as accessible and easy to use as possible and to encourage more ships to slow down,” Rhodes said.

Even the Antarctic blue whale, the largest animal on the planet, weighing up to 200 tons, is no match for these massive ships. Large cargo ships, often carrying tens of thousands of containers, can weigh more than 200,000 tons.

“As consumers, this is a problem we’re all in touch with because a lot of purchased and used goods are shipped, but it’s unfortunately not an issue that many of us attribute to being a major threat to whales,” Liebhardt said.

Still, activities like Whale watching The general admiration that whales bring to the oceans has created a great deal of awareness of the damage the oceans are currently doing due to various factors.

“Beautiful, dynamic, charismatic animals with well-documented intelligence, they have an extraordinary ability to inspire and stimulate connections between the ocean and the public that are so desperately needed right now.” Rogan said.

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