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