News Update

Robotic Buoys Are Being Developed For The Safety Of Atlantic Right Whales

A Cape Cod science centre and one of the world’s largest shipping businesses are collaborating on a project to utilize robotic buoys to protect a vanishing whale from collisions with ships. A lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has developed the technology, which uses buoys and underwater gliders to record whale sounds in near real-time.


“The robotic recorders give mariners, scientists, and the public an idea of the location of rare North Atlantic right whales,” said Mark Baumgartner, a marine ecologist with Woods Hole whose lab also operates the buoys to alert others. The whales currently number less than 340 globally, and ship strikes are one of the significant threats to their existence as they travel through some of the busiest stretches of ocean on the planet.


French shipping giant CMA CGM is now working with Woods Hole to deploy two of the robotic buoys off of Virginia, Norfolk, and Savannah, Georgia. CMA CGM is funding the deployment of the buoys, which will be added to the data collected by six others off the East Coast, Baumgartner said. The two new buoys will be deployed for testing soon, he said.