Dalhousie University launches interactive map to help protect North Atlantic Right Whales

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, which experienced unprecedented numbers of deaths last year in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We are implementing various protection measures to reduce the threats and basing our decisions on the best information possible.

The Honorable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard announced June 6 a new interactive mapping tool that displays the recent known locations of the whales as they travel in Canadian waters. The map displays near real-time whale detection information provided by various partners who contribute airborne, vessel and acoustic glider detections of the North Atlantic right whale. By providing this information on the web, partners will be better able to work together and ocean industries and members of the public will have rapid access to the most comprehensive information available.

“Our government is committed to the protection of endangered species, and will continue to take all appropriate actions to reduce threats to the iconic North Atlantic right whale and help ensure the survival of the species,” said LeBlanc. “Protecting Canada’s endangered whales from further harm is a shared responsibility, and working with partners like Dalhousie University adds more tools to strengthen these efforts.”

The WhaleMap, developed by Hansen Johnson, a PhD student in Oceanography at Dalhousie University, is now available on Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s website. Users will be able to view recent Right Whale detections and customize the map to display various surveillance efforts and protection measures.

The project received C$57,500 in funding support from the Oceans Protection Plan. The C$1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to ensure our coasts are healthier, safer and better protected. The plan includes measures that will address threats to marine mammals in Canadian waters and enhance capacity to respond to marine mammal incidents.

Maritime Editorial