whale strikes

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 08:09 AM.
#21
Coastal Florida
1,069 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
I'm an (aerospace) engineer by trade, but bioacoustics (particulary wrt marine animals) is a hobby...

I had an NGO chapter here in Central FL, working on engineering solutions for ship-strikes (and debris that causes entanglements). I had had a project (&, presented proposals at my work) to work w universities on why strikes occur and the best methodology to mitigate them.

Manatees' hearing thresholds are often outside those frequencies of boat motors...this means, they simply can't hear them coming. In addition, there is a phenomenon called "shadowing" whereby ships (large/small, etc) are essentially silent in front of their bows. Now, I won't go into the acoustics, but imagine if you are a whale in front of a large barge/cruise/container ship & all its sound is masked/attenuated...some ship-staff aren't even aware of this phenomenon...Yes, the sonar from the ship may detect the whale, but I've witnessed instances where (usually container ships & personal watercraft) ignore such information; when marine-animals' distributions are suspected/known, NOAA (at least in US waters), will send a signal/alert/warning to mariners. If the mariner causes either a "close-call" (w/in 500 ft of animal) or strike, NWS law enforcement will fine the perpertrator.

Also, whales sleep at the surface...very precarious...I had proposed using one of our UAVs to monitor, either infrared or SAR, to detect & create a potential distribution of Northern Right Whales...due to gov't budgets, I was unable to continue w the project. Please know, however, some universities and the US Navy are attempting similar projects to better protect marine fauna.

Please know that most of the Northern Right Whale mortalities are due to ship strikes to their mandibles (and, entanglements). Most of the perpertrators were foreign-flagged vessels (they either pay the fines or ignore...) and surprisingly, personal water craft. I have heard (don't have the statistics to support this hearsay) that blue whales near the Sri-Lankan coast also have high mortality due to ship strikes...it's a tough problem to solve, internationally; unfortunately.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Earlier cruises: HAL Amsterdam & Rotterdam (South America & Transatlantic), Cargo vessels (South Am)
2003: HAL Ryndam (Rio - Valparaiso (Falklands))
2005: HAL Noordam (Europe, Norway)
2006: NCL Pride of America (Hawaii)
2008: HAL Rotterdam (Brazil, Africa, Europe (Canaries))
2010: NCL Jade (Mediterranean (Turkey, Egypt))
2010: Azamara Quest (Dubai, India, Thailand, Singapore)
2011: Princess Diamond (Alaska, Hokkaido, Russia, S Korea, China)
2012: Swan Hellenic Minerva (Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore)
2015: Sun Princess (Papua New Guinea)
2015: HAL Volendam (Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei)
2016: NCL Sun (Buenos Aires to Santiago)
2016: Cunard (Cape Town, Namibia, Atlantic Islands (St Helena, Ascension, Cape Verde, Canaries))
2016: HAL Zuiderdam (Baltic, Norway, Iceland, Greenland)
2017: NCL Star (Middle East, Suez, Israel)
#22
Coastal Florida
1,069 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Dr Chris Clark (Cornell U) has been instrumental in the passive acoustic arrays near Boston. When these arrays are "activated" (have a "ping" from a whale), an automatic notice is desiminated on the Whale Alert (there's an app for that!) w approx location, time, and how many animals were in the vicinity. This system is online during the time Northern Right Whales are in the area (approx April - October).

Near Jacksonville, FL, another array has been set up (but, I believe is disabled at this time due to funds). Northern Right Whale females calve b'n Jacksonville and Kennedy Space Center, litorally (along the shallow shores), but may be present out 85 nmis. Females and calves do not use their echolocation in this vicinity (during Oct - Apr) so as to reduce predators. So, I believe another rationale for disabling these arrays is that the animals don't make many sounds when south.

Right Whales don't swim that fast. Their typcial cruising speed (& they only do that during migration) is about 1 nmi/hr. They've been recorded up to 7 nmi/hr, for short durations, but only during migration.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Earlier cruises: HAL Amsterdam & Rotterdam (South America & Transatlantic), Cargo vessels (South Am)
2003: HAL Ryndam (Rio - Valparaiso (Falklands))
2005: HAL Noordam (Europe, Norway)
2006: NCL Pride of America (Hawaii)
2008: HAL Rotterdam (Brazil, Africa, Europe (Canaries))
2010: NCL Jade (Mediterranean (Turkey, Egypt))
2010: Azamara Quest (Dubai, India, Thailand, Singapore)
2011: Princess Diamond (Alaska, Hokkaido, Russia, S Korea, China)
2012: Swan Hellenic Minerva (Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore)
2015: Sun Princess (Papua New Guinea)
2015: HAL Volendam (Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei)
2016: NCL Sun (Buenos Aires to Santiago)
2016: Cunard (Cape Town, Namibia, Atlantic Islands (St Helena, Ascension, Cape Verde, Canaries))
2016: HAL Zuiderdam (Baltic, Norway, Iceland, Greenland)
2017: NCL Star (Middle East, Suez, Israel)