Satellite Monitoring and Surveillance of Habitat for Right Whales
The critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale resides in waters with busy shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where incidents of ship strikes have proven to be a primary cause of whale death, resulting in their numbers dwindling to less than 400. Though the implementation of speed limits for ships has been somewhat successful in reducing mortality should a collision occur, a lack of knowledge as to the whereabouts of the whales has prevented ships from being able to avoid collisions entirely. This project aims to use high-resolution satellite imagery to monitor right whale habitats, and create an automated alert system which will detect their presence, and quickly send location information to ships in the area. Ships can then use this information to avoid the area when a whale is nearby, preventing collision deaths, and helping to restore a healthy whale population.