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Northern right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) are vulnerable to injury and mortality caused by vessel strikes. In an effort to prevent vessel strikes in the southeastern U.S. calving ground, a communication network was implemented to relay right whale sighting information, gathered by aerial survey teams, to mariners in the area. The system, which has evolved substantially since inception, now provides real-time sighting information to the marine community, thus assisting with avoidance of northern right whales. The current system utilizes 25 cloned alphanumeric pagers distributed to various state, federal, military, and industry representatives. Right whale sightings are reported and disseminated via the pagers, and ultimately via Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) to all ships 100 tons or larger in southeastern waters. This system has been successful in alerting mariners to the presence of right whales, however to address the critical management problems confronting this highly endangered species, further research into technological advancements that may assist in the detection of right whales should be encouraged.
The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.