Ahoy! New iPad App Helps Ships Steer Clear Of Whales | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Ahoy! New iPad App Helps Ships Steer Clear Of Whales

Play associated audio
A southern right whale surfaces off the coast of New Zealand. Researchers are now hoping that a new iPad app will help ships avoid hitting the endangered species.
Oregon State University (http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonstateuniversity/5863853395/)
A southern right whale surfaces off the coast of New Zealand. Researchers are now hoping that a new iPad app will help ships avoid hitting the endangered species.

There's an app for everything it seems, and now there's a new iPad app that's helping ship captains avoid hit and runs with whales.

There are only 450 right whales left in existence. Historically, it was hunting that brought these whales to the brink of extinction. But one of the major things killing these whales now is collisions with ships. 

The whales migration routes and breeding grounds intersect with major East Coast shipping routes. A new iPhone and iPad application is now available to let ships know when they are entering areas where right whales may be so those ships can slow down. 

"One of the features of the app is triggered by the acoustic sounds that the right whale is making under water," says Patrick Ramage of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which helped develop the app. 

"This ipad technology is enabling a right whale essentially to call a captain on the bridge of a ship and alert that captain that they are in the vicinity so that captain can take appropriate action," says Ramage.

You can't use the app to find the exact location of whales, however, and that's by design, according to Ramage. He says this highly endangered species has endured enough contact with humans and doesn't need any more. 

NPR

Former Basketball Player Scores As A Filmmaker

While Deon Taylor was playing professional basketball in Germany, he had an epiphany: he wanted to make movies. The self-taught director's latest film, Supremacy, was released this Friday.
NPR

Surströmming Revisited: Eating Sweden's Famously Stinky Fish

Sweden has the distinction of producing surströmming, one of the foulest-smelling foods in the world. More than a decade ago, NPR's Ari Shapiro tried eating it and failed. It's time for a rematch.
NPR

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.
NPR

The Infinite Whiteness Of Public Radio Voices

The hashtag #publicradiovoices, about the "whiteness" of public radio, trended on Twitter this week. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team about the conversation.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.