Mission and vision
The mission of our project is to bring best-available science and analyses to support the ecological sustainability and economic viability for U.S. ocean users. With decades of experience in endangered species protection, marine resource management, and oceanographic and species distribution analyses, our research team is working to support the development of innovative management approaches that meet ecological and economic management objectives and mandates.
Blue whales are an Endangered Species , with roughly 1500 whales estimated in the migratory Eastern North Pacific Population off of the U.S. West Coast. This population is threatened by ship strikes, which are the largest source of mortality, as well as bycatch in fishing gear. WhaleWatch 2.0 is a predictive spatial management tool that helps scientists and managers evaluate the most likely times and places that blue whales will be present along the U.S. West Coast in order to inform management decisions and mitigate risk of ship strikes, bycatch, or other threats. This is the latest dynamic model for blue whales. Previous models for blue whales in the California Current Ecosystem include the original WhaleWatch effort and a climatological ensemble model that provides a best seasonal estimate from multiple data sources and modeling approaches.
WhaleWatch 2.0 team
WhaleWatch 2.0 is a consortium of scientists, managers, and members of the shipping industry. The WhaleWatch 2.0 team is made up of scientists from University of California Santa Cruz and Oregon State University and NOAA’s Environmental Resource Division, working in direct collaboration with resource managers and other stakeholders.
Funding for the project has been generously provided by the Benioff Ocean Initiative.