Voluntary Vessel Speed Reduction Zone In Effect NOAA recommends that vessels > 300 gross registered tons transiting the zone do so at speeds of 10 knots or less

About Us

The University of California Santa Barbara’s Benioff Ocean Initiative is working with leading whale scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of California Santa Cruz, University of Washington, NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Conserve IO, The Marine Mammal Center, Point Blue Conservation Science, and Cascadia Research Collective to track whale and shipping activity to provide the best available science to reduce the risk of whale-ship collisions. Ships that slow down in important whale habitats can save whales while also reducing air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, ocean noise and other harmful environmental impacts.

  • Acoustic Detection of Whales: Dr. Mark Baumgartner’s team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Dr. Ana Širović’s team from Norwegian University of Science and Technology have designed, deployed, and maintained the passive acoustic monitoring system to identify, classify, and report the sounds of blue, humpback, and fin whales in near real-time (Baumgartner et al. 2019).
  • Blue Whale Habitat Modeling: Dr. Elliott Hazen and Dr. Briana Abrahms have led a team of researchers from University of Washington, UC Santa Cruz, Oregon State University, and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center to develop a fine-scale dynamic model that uses ocean data to make daily predictions of blue whale habitat (Abrahms et al. 2019).
  • Visual Whale Sightings:  Whale sightings are collected and provided by the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps, researchers from Point Blue Conservation Science, The Marine Mammal Center, and trusted observers from whale watch vessels in both regions using the Whale Alert and Spotter Pro mobile apps. Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary staff collect and provide data from monthly aerial monitoring of the shipping lanes in the Santa Barbara Channel.


Expansion Partnership: