Washington State Ferries has launched a new whale report alert app to help provide ferry captains with more accurate location information on whales throughout Puget Sound.
Recreational boaters will be able to report whale sightings on the app, but will not have access to the app data.
Access to data from the Whale Report Alert System will only be available to commercial operators like ferries, ships and tugs.
“WRAS relies on real-time sightings, reported by members of the public via Ocean Wise’s WhaleReport smartphone application, to inform commercial mariners of whale presence,” officials wrote in a news release.
The alert system is designed to help captains make decisions to change course or reduce speed to avoid colliding with whales.
Each alert a captain receives will explain details of the species observed, the direction of travel, time of sighting and the number of whales in the group.
“Because we operate our 22 ferries on Puget Sound and manage 20 terminals on its shores, we have an obligation to ensure WSF is doing everything we can to protect our environment, including marine life,” WSF Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton said.
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