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A Global Whale Stranding Network?

October 7, 2013

This is a great Indiegogo idea to harness smartphone technology with the need to respond as fast as possible to whale and dolphin strandings:

We are looking to create a worldwide network for sightings of beached and stranded whales and dolphins. Developing the app for it however, is the most expensive part of the project. We are therefore appealing to all IT experts to step forward and volunteer their design services. If we can achieve donated help with this aspect of our project then our costs will drop significantly. Funds can then be used instead, towards a public awareness campaign.

This will be helpful for strandings that might otherwise go unreported (such as in countries where there is no stranding network in place), and also it will save researchers valuable time by having the data available in one place.

Candace Calloway Whiting, one of the creators of the project, explains further how a smartphone enabled network could help save whales and dolphins, particularly in an era of intensifying seismic exploration for undersea energy:

Although a half a world apart – one in the Philippines, the other in the British Isles – these stranding events have some things in common.

In both situations an usual variety of normally deep water species were involved, and both involved animals that looked battered and behaved unusually. (Please see “Panicked Whales Are Stranding in Area of Seismic Exploration” for information on the Great Britain strandings).

Both occurred in areas of intense exploration for oil. While the North Atlantic region has a longer history of offshore exploration, some areas of the South China Sea are just opening up. The Philippines is poised to exploit anticipated offshore sources of oil and gas, and is in a hurry to do so – the region is plagued with power shortages and has financial incentives to encourage foreign oil companies to perform seismic surveys of the seabeds.

Go to Indiegogo to learn more about the project and the different perks you can earn via a donation.

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