Whale Tracking with the Help of Remote Sensing

Do you know the “Right Whales” name emerged when the scientists discovered the fact that these were the perfect whales for hunting purposes? These whales are the slow-moving species found most commonly near the coastline, making them a quick and easy target for whale hunters. Soon, the hunting of whales was declared an illegal activity. Since then, there has been a rise in the population of right whales, although reports show that only 15% of whales in this category exist in the oceans today.

Before hunting, the population of right whales was estimated to be somewhere between 55,000 and 70,000, but it has reduced drastically to 7,500 now. Despite the legal restrictions on hunting, the population of these whales keeps decreasing because of the whales getting tangled during fishing or killed by boats. Scientists have recovered that the water containing right whales and other categories of this fish can be viewed and analyzed with satellite-based imagery.

Collecting Details of the Whale Species

In fact, many researchers have been using geo-spatial technology to collect 3D pictures of whales. Nowadays, a new radio device is implemented on the whale’s back, allowing researchers to measure the depth, climate, water temperature, and survival tricks of these whales accurately.

Not only does it produce clear images of different whale species, but the remote sensing technology has proven quite effective in tracking different species of whales that we once thought did not exist. Most importantly, it gives you better and clear insights into the conditions of the whale’s survival and how this water animal decides their direction based on the water flow.

Why GIS for Whale Tracking?

Researchers have mentioned that the new satellite imagery and remote sensing technology have outperformed nearly all traditional methods when it comes to whale tracking. The technology is largely used for tracking individual whales and identifying the most popular species of this fish both below and on the surface of the ocean.

The methods used for the identification of whale species do not only help you track the availability of varying whales in the ocean, but they give you insights into the behavioral patterns that might have a significant impact on the survival of the whales, as well as, their movements. Another important thing to note here is that the counts of the species of whales and the total number existing in different oceans are easier with the help of remote sensing technology.

Researchers have found the technology quite effective in carrying out the whale counting process, which once seemed nearly impossible. Gone are the days when whale counting was conducted using airplane flyovers and boat expeditions. Not only were these methods extremely expensive and time-intensive, but they required a lot of labor. Still, the results were not as accurate as researchers had imagined. That’s where the GIS was proposed as an effective technology for keeping counts of the whales. It is easier, faster, economical, and most importantly, delivers the best results when it comes to accuracy.