Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory-funded technology to save whales from ship strikes along San Francisco coastline

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In the wake of a ship collision killing Fran, California’s most photographed whale, Whale Safe will be deployed in conjunction with the Marine Mammal Center to help detect the presence of endangered whales and track the speed of whales. vessels to provide data to the shipping industry, public and government to reduce preventable whale deaths


SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Marine Mammal Center and Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory:


The Marine Mammal Center and Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory will host a virtual press conference and panel discussion to announce a collaboration to deploy Whale Safe, a technology-based mapping and analysis system, in the San Bay Area. Francisco to help prevent collisions between whales and ships. . Whale deaths from ship strikes have increased over the past decade, with estimates of more than 80 endangered whales being killed off the West Coast per year.

The tragic death of Fran, California’s most photographed whale, last month is the latest example of why Whale Safe is needed off the northern California coast. Whale Safe technology will allow the public, media, government officials and shipping companies and their vessel captains to go online and in near real time, monitor vessel speeds and interactions with whales in coastal waters of northern California. In addition to providing an immediate benefit for monitoring vessel speeds, the data will also be recorded and analyzed by the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory and the Marine Mammal Center to help inform additional preventative safety recommendations.

The system was developed by the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory and its technology partners Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Washington and Conserve.iO.

Highlights include:

  • An overview of innovative technology that uses AI-enabled acoustic monitoring systems, a dynamic blue whale habitat model, and whale sightings to reduce and prevent ships from killing whales in the Bay Area. More than 50% of all container ship traffic in the United States passes through West Coast ports.

  • The technology enables the creation of a “school zone for whales”, where data on whales is provided and vessel speed limits are implemented, greatly reducing the risk to whales.

  • Round table and questions and answers.


  • Maria Brown, Superintendent Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries

  • Jeff Boehm, Director of External Relations, The Marine Mammal Center

  • Doug McCauley, Director, Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory

  • Kathi George, Director of Field Operations and Response, The Marine Mammal Center

  • Claire Martin, Vice President of Sustainable Development CMA-CGM, 3rd largest container shipping company in the world

  • Ana Širović, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

WHEN: September 21 at 10 a.m.

Announcement: 10:00 a.m.

Round table: 10:30 a.m.


Registration to watch and participate in the virtual event can be found here.

For all other press inquiries, please contact Jacob Scott via email ([email protected]) or by phone (412-445-7719).


The press kit, including graphics, maps, data and photos, can be found here.

About the Benioff Ocean Science Lab

The Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory (formerly The Benioff Ocean Initiative) based at the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is an applied research center that harnesses the power of science and technology to create scalable and replicable to pressing ocean health challenges. The Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory works with scientists around the world to address issues such as plastic pollution, endangered species and climate change. UC Santa Barbara is a leading marine research center committed to using science to promote effective ocean management.

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About the Marine Mammal Center

The Marine Mammal Center is a world leader in marine mammal health, science and conservation, and is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world. The center’s teaching hospital and training programs operate worldwide, with its headquarters in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, part of the National Park Service. The Center’s expert teams travel the world to work with emerging first responders and has itself rescued more than 24,000 marine mammals within 600 miles of its authorized rescue zone of coastal California and the Big Island of Hawaii. . The Centre’s mission is to advance global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research and education.

For more information, please visit Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Jacob Scott

[email protected]


Source: Marine Mammal Center

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