Powered by AIS: New tool tracks ship speeds to protect whales

Posted on Posted in News

A new tool powered by AIS called Whale Safe is now available for tracking ship speeds to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.

An AIS (Automatic Identification System) is used to identify and monitor ships automatically via VHF radio.  Using AIS enables informed decisions by vessel captains and is mandatory for most commercial vessels and voluntarily used by many recreational boaters.

It’s easy to recognize the defense applications for AIS tracking technology, but did you know that analytic use of this readily-available data source empowers environmental protection?

As posted on April 14, 2024 by Jennifer Sweet of CBC News:

This map from the Whalesafe North America tool shows transparent blue zones where static speed reductions are set to take effect April 17. It also shows the percentage of ship traffic moving at speeds above 10 knots on a colour scale, from green for zero to red for 100. (Whale Safe)

Whale Safe was developed by scientists at the Benioff Ocean Science Lab, a centre for applied marine conservation at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The lab concentrates on using AI-powered ocean sensors, big data models, citizen science, and ship tracking to prevent ship strikes, which are one of the main causes of serious whale injuries and deaths.

Its Whale Safe tool uses cloud computing to analyze billions of data points from the automatic identification system, or AIS,  a transceiver-based tracking system for marine traffic, said Rachel Rhodes, a data scientist at the Benioff lab.

Whale Safe can show in near real time where speed limits are in place and which vessels are complying, she said.

Read the complete article here, including the color-coded map!

At Shine Micro, we believe that Better Data drives Better Decisions. We’re here to help you Receive Better.

New Tool Tracks Ship Speeds to Protect WhalesCBC News

Founded in 1941, CBC News is Canada’s publicly owned news and information service. They are rooted in every region of the country and report on Canada and the world to provide a Canadian perspective on news and current affairs.

Weather over AIS - Shine Micro, Inc.

Shine Micro is the pioneer of high-sensitivity AIS receivers for long-range, real-time, persistent monitoring and vessel tracking.  From the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) to the invention and patent of Class B AIS transmission protocol (CSTDMA), Shine Micro specializes in innovation and optimization of AIS, including VHF technology for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) monitoring and Small Vessel Tracking (SVT).