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BC Ferries supports thermal imaging whale research project

August 27, 2019

British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. is supporting a whale-related research project at Galiano Island with the installation of thermal-imaging cameras at its Sturdies Bay terminal. The project will help determine if automated thermal-imaging technology, when used in combination with visual and acoustic detection, can be a reliable and effective way to detect whales. The cameras work around-the-clock. The year-long pilot project aims to improve the overall detection of whales in the Salish Sea – even at night. If the pilot project is successful, the system could be used to alert ships to the presence of marine mammals in narrow waterways in the Salish Sea and to identify high-risk areas so mariners can make real-time decisions to slow down or use avoidance tactics when whales are present. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is the primary funder of the project, which is being done in collaboration with the University of Erlangen in Germany and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.