Helping Ships Avoid Endangered Whales

The world's last 350 North Atlantic right whales live along the East Coast. Collisions with ships are a deadly hazard, but new listening buoys are helping. Here's how.

Right Whale Videos

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Life as a Right Whale

Find out the basics: Where they live, what they eat, why they're endangered. And why there's still hope. (Duration: 2:13)

3 clips by Multimedia Productions, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Complementary footage courtesy of NOAA. See complete credits

Right whale detections: last 24 hours

New smart buoys listen for whale calls all day, every day. Frequent alerts let ship captains know where and when to slow down--and save a whale.

The green dots on this map show locations of buoys listening for endangered right whales. If you see a red whale icon instead, it means a buoy at that location has heard a right whale within the last 24 hours. This information is made available to ship captains, who can slow to 10 knots and post a lookout to avoid a collision.

Note: Right whales often leave Massachusetts Bay in spring. If you don't see any whale detections here, see this archived map from April 2008.

Learn More

How do we detect right whales and help avoid whale and ship collisions?

To learn more, click on a step.

  1. 1. Detect
  2. 2. Transmit
  3. 3. Analyze
  4. 4. Notify
  5. 5. Avoid