Every summer and fall, large numbers of right whales congregate in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean to feed and breed. In addition to being an essential right whale habitat, the Bay of Fundy contains heavily traveled international shipping lanes. For many years, these shipping lanes passed directly through some of the most important right whale feeding areas within the Bay of Fundy.

Informed by our GIS maps and analysis, we spearheaded an international collaboration among shipping companies, governmental agencies (Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada), fishermen, whalewatchers and researchers to relocate the shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy. Our efforts were successful, and the internationally mandated shipping lanes were shifted 4 nautical miles to the east, from an area with high right whale densities to an area with lower right whale densities. This relatively small shift has reduced the risk of accidental collisions between right whales and ships by approximately 80 percent in the Bay of Fundy.