Whale Innovation Challenge | Défi innovation pour les baleines
 

Whale Innovation Challenge

We're seeking real-time tracking solutions to keep whale populations safe in Canada's waters.

 
 
Whale Tracker Innovation Challenge.jpg

Canada's waters are getting busier

Vessel traffic is increasing in many Canadian ports where endangered and threatened whale species are found, including the iconic North Atlantic Right Whale and Southern Resident Killer Whale. Vessel collisions, entanglements and acoustic disturbances threaten the well-being and survival of these whale populations.

 
 The North Atlantic Right Whale: mother and calf.  Image in the public domain

The North Atlantic Right Whale: mother and calf. Image in the public domain

 

Below: A Bathymetric chart of Atlantic Canada. The pink polygon shows the North Atlantic Right Whale's critical habitats. The stars indicate the first observed locations of right whale carcasses from 1987 through 2017. Red stars indicate the death was attributable to a vessel strike, and blue stars indicate the death was due to fishing gear entanglements or unknown causes. (Credit: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

 
North Atlantic Right Whale Critical Habitats.png
 

Mariners need real-time information

Mariners on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts lack real-time information about the location of whales. Existing solutions, such as radio frequency tagging and aerial surveys, provide limited data and are expensive. The Whale Innovation Challenge is therefore seeking new detection and tracking technologies to reduce the risk of collisions, entanglements and other harmful events.

 
 Southern Resident Killer Whale range and designated critical habitat within Canadian and adjacent waters in Washington State. (Published with permission from Coastal Ocean Research Institute)

Southern Resident Killer Whale range and designated critical habitat within Canadian and adjacent waters in Washington State. (Published with permission from Coastal Ocean Research Institute)

 Southern Resident Killer Whales. (Published with permission from Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Credit: Graeme Ellis)

Southern Resident Killer Whales. (Published with permission from Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Credit: Graeme Ellis)

 

A prize fund for new solutions

 
 
if_graphic_data_internet_2834393.png

Early 2019

Teams from around the world will be invited to submit their ideas. A panel of engineers and biologists will select Finalists to participate in the Challenge.

if_three_design_creative_2832190.png

2019/20

Finalists will have 18 months to develop proof-of-concept stage solutions, backed by grants from the Challenge fund.

if_down_arrow_creative_2832210.png

Late 2020

Finalists will present their solutions for testing by the expert panel. The winning solution will be announced by the end of the year and receive a cash prize.

 

Stay updated

We'll be announcing more details soon. If you're interested in entering the Challenge, or following its progress, register for email updates or get in touch directly.

 
Whale Innovation Challenge.jpg