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New App Helps Ship Captains Avoid Hitting Endangered Whales07:06

This article is more than 8 years old.
A screenshot of the new whale app (Courtesy)
A screenshot of the new whale app (Courtesy)

The early spring has drawn North Atlantic right whales to Massachusetts waters earlier and in larger numbers than any year in recent memory. That's a good thing for scientists who study these critically endangered animals. But unfortunately, this can be a dangerous neighborhood for right whales.

Massachusetts Bay, of course, has one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world leading in and out of Boston Harbor, and right whales are particularly vulnerable to ship strike, because they feed right up at the surface of the water. Making matters worse, they have no dorsal fins, which makes them harder for mariners to spot with the naked eye.

But for the first time ever this season, they won't have to. A consortium of private and public partners lead by the International Fund for Animal Welfare today unveiled a mobile app that will give ship captains near real-time data on the location of right whales in the shipping lanes.


  • Adam Ragusea, Radio Boston producer


This segment aired on April 4, 2012.

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