1. Home
  2. Stay informed
  3. News

Navigating Whale Habitat: a new toolkit for the shipowners

May 18, 2021

In an effort to ensure that shipping is respectful of whales in the Northwest Atlantic, WWF-Canada, the Réseau d’observation de mammifères marins (ROMM) and the St. Lawrence Global Observatory (SLGO) have joined forces to create a new toolkit that will help ship owners and their crews to recognize whales and maintain an inventory of these mammals.

Having first developed a component targeting recreational boaters, the three partners also wanted to engage ship owners in the collection of whale data. The impacts of shipping, such as the risk of collision, underwater noise and pollution, represent major threats to the recovery of several endangered whale species, such as the North Atlantic right whale, the blue whale and the St. Lawrence beluga. By increasing vigilance while in waterways and contributing to the collection of essential data, the marine industry can help to conserve these species.

More than 10 companies with upwards of 60 vessels in total are already participating in the program. The toolkit recently made available to them will help them to better organize and manage data collection, as well as to ensure adequate training of participating crews.

Created in close collaboration with government partners and marine industry representatives, including Green Marine, the toolkit is now available on the Navigating Whale Habitat website and includes:

  • Training on whale identification and data collection
  • A visualization tool and data entry protocol
  • The new edition of A Mariner’s Guide to Whales in the Northwest Atlantic.