The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered whales in the world. Since 1980, our right whale research program has been working to save these whales from extinction.

By using GIS technology to track when and where right whales travel, our researchers are able to understand the interactions between right whales and shipping vessels and fishing gear, and influence policy decisions.

Reducing Ship Strikes

Accidental collision with large boats and shipping vessels is the leading cause of right whale mortality today. We use GIS technology to understand the patterns of ship traffic and speed through commercial shipping lanes and around U.S. ports.

Reducing Fishing Gear Entanglements

When right whales become tangled in commercial fishing gear, the results can be fatal. We use GIS technology to plot when and where commercial fishing activities could impact right whales.

Remote Sensing

Through the use of satellites, we can collect data on sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a concentrations and additional environmental variables. We can then use this data to potentially predict the locations of right whales in their habitat.

Right Whales in Urban Environments

The annual right whale migration passes directly through some of the most heavily used areas of the Mid-Atlantic and surrounding environs. We analyze where and how human activities might be impacting the right whale population.

Right Whale Mapping Project

Aquarium researchers are studying the geospatial distributions and movements of right whales in New England waters.

Results and Successes

Our GIS program is helping conserve critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, track rehabilitated and released marine animals and train our next generation of ocean stewards.