USCG Launches Program To Safeguard Endangered Whales


  • The USCG has launched a pilot program to safeguard endangered whales.
  • The program aims to receive whale sighting reports from mariners.
  • The program aligns its operations with the Canadian Coast Guard Marine Mammal Desk.

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound has launched a cetacean desk pilot program that aims to safeguard endangered whales and reduce adverse impacts from maritime vessel traffic in the Salish Sea region, reports Safety 4 Sea.

Objectives: Mitigating Risks

  • Mitigate risks posed by vessel traffic to large cetaceans.
  • Receive whale sighting reports from mariners via Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).
  • Provide real-time whale location data through the Whale Report Alert System (WRAS).
  • Enhance situational awareness to reduce ship strikes and disturbances to whales.

Alignment with Other Agencies

  • Aligns with Canadian Coast Guard Marine Mammal Desk.
  • Establishes consistent whale reporting and notification system in the Salish Sea.
  • Emphasizes collaboration with federal, tribal, international, and state partners.

Statements from Officials

Capt. Mark McDonnell emphasizes the importance of the initiative for regional goals and maritime safety, whereas Rachel Aronson is excited for program support and expansion, highlighting collective efforts for safer maritime practices, and Grace Ferrara acknowledges USCG’s role in safeguarding mariners, whales, and wildlife, stressing efficient sharing of insights for conservation efforts.

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Source: Safety4sea