Credit: NOAA Fisheries Service
Interactive Display Shows Where and When Right Whales Are Sighted
An interactive visual display of North Atlantic Right Whale sightings is now available and the data easily accessible, thanks to a Google Earth interface with a live connection to the NEFSC’s Oracle database. Visitors interested in knowing where and when sightings have occurred can display the Center’s North Atlantic Right Whale Sighting Survey and Sighting Advisory System data in map or table format over different time periods. A click on the whale tale icon on the map, for example, will provide information about that particular sighting, or display the data in table form. The brainchild of aerial survey team leader Tim Cole of the Center’s Protected Species Branch, the interactive visual display is a collaboration between Christin Khan and Beth Josephson of the Protected Species Branch, and Kurt Schwehr at the NOAA Joint Hydrographic Center/Visualization Lab at the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping. The interactive display, which also highlights seasonal management areas and provides information for mariners and how to report right whale sightings, will hopefully raise awareness of the whereabouts of right whales throughout the year and support efforts to reduce the threat of ship collisions and entanglement in fishing gear, the most common human causes of serious injury and death for this critically endangered population.
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