About the WRAS
In October 2018, the Ocean Wise Sightings Network (formerly the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network) launched an alert system that broadcasts pertinent details of whale presence to large commercial vessels. Information on whale presence is obtained from real-time observations reported to the Ocean Wise Sightings Network via the WhaleReport app. The alerts inform shipmasters and pilots of cetacean occurrence in their vicinity. This awareness better enables vessels to undertake adaptive mitigation measures, such as slowing down or altering course in the presence of cetaceans, to reduce the risk of collision and disturbance.
Ocean Wise has partnered with Acartia.io data cooperative to provide increased marine mammal detections into the WhaleReport Alert System, particularily in Washington State. Acartia is a decentralized data cooperative for sharing marine animal locations within the Salish Sea. It is named for one of the smallest animals in Puget Sound - microscopic copepods - but was built to recover one of the biggest - the endangered Southern Resident killer whales.Acartia.io
Orca Network is dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest, the importance of providing them with healthy and safe habitat, and finding ways for people to work together to protect the rich, beautiful, and diverse Salish Sea. Orca Network provides data into the WhaleReport Alert System via Acartia.io.orcanetwork.org
Conserve.io is bringing conservation into the 21st century by deploying a mix of mobile, web and crowdsourcing technology to simplify and scale the collection of conservation data and to make that data more actionable. Conserve.io provides data into the WhaleReport Alert System via Acartia.io.conserve.io
Beam Reach catalyzes marine conservation wherever endangered salmon-eating orcas roam — from northern California to southeast Alaska. Based in Seattle, we are bioacoustic experts who create innovative technological solutions with our non-profit, government, and industry partners to help save the whales. Beam Reach provides data into the WhaleReport Alert System via Acartia.io.beamreach.blue
Ways to Reduce your Impact
When safety considerations allow, mariners can reduce their chance of striking or disturbing whales in the following ways:
1. Keep your distance. Stay at least 200 metres away when possible; greater distances are more beneficial. Learn more about the Be Whale Wise Guidelines here.
2. Reduce your speed. Slowing below your vessel’s cavitation inception reduces underwater noise that may affect whale foraging and communication. The chance of a ship striking and killing or seriously injuring a whale is greatly reduced when a ship travels at 10 knots or less.
3. Avoid rapid acceleration. Limit changes in RPM while transiting past whales.
4. Reroute. Consider the whale’s direction of travel and avoid entering their path.