To protect whales you have to be able to find them. Given how large the oceans are this can be a problem. Researchers at the University of Victoria and at Dalhousie University in Halifax have come up with a cost-effective and minimally invasive way to track whale movements. by using underwater drones they can track the whales singing and thereby track their movements.
The underwater drones are called Slocum Gliders and have been deployed on the east and west coasts patrolling for whale activity. The data collected is used to pinpoint the whales and inform where different whale species are congregating in turn helping to inform ocean management practices. To aid in the conservation of whale populations we have to know where their habitats are…not so easy when these animals are very migratory.
One of the benefits of the information is to be able to inform the Canadian Navy where the whales are and then the Navy will cease to operate in that area until the whales have moved on. One can only imagine what the noise of an exploding shell would sound like in the ears of a whale.
In the future it is possible that whale presence could be broadcast to commercial ships as well, allowing the ships to keep away.
So undersea drones the newest whale protection tool!