Floating device deployed off Chile to protect whales from ships


A device floating in the waters off the coast of southern Chile aims to collect data on nearby whales to protect them from passing ships.

first letter float It was recently placed at sea in Corcovado Bay, about 1,100 kilometers from the capital, Santiago.

The device is designed to listen to the sounds of whales when they communicate with each other. Animals use sound to map their movements and hunt.

An electric shovel that raises a buoy that has been ordered to help avoid ships hitting whales in the Bay Area

An electric shovel lifts a buoy ordered to help avoid ships hitting whales in the Corcovado Bay area on the coast of Chilo, Chile, October 10, 2022. (Fundacion MERI/Handout)

Sounds are processed by Artificial intelligence Computer-powered (AI) systems trying to locate animals. This information is then sent to shipping operators to help them avoid hitting the whales.

A non-profit organization called the Blue Boat Initiative put a buoy into place. The group seeks to develop and deploy technical tools to provide a warning system to shipping companies. In addition to helping protect whales, the “smart” buoy also collects data on ocean health and the effects of climate change.

A boat that transports a buoy to help avoid ship collisions with whales in the Bay Area

A boat transports a buoy to help avoid ship collisions with whales in the Corcovado Bay area in the coast of Chilo, Chile, October 10, 2022 (Fundacion MERI/Handout via REUTERS)

The group plans to place a series of buoys along the path that the whales take on journeys from Antarctica to the equator. Corcovado Bay is rich in marine life, including a large number of blue whales, as well as southern right whales. All these whales are listed as endangered under Endangered Species Act. The number of whales in the area increases during the summer season in the southern hemisphere.

In 2008, Chile banned whaling activities, including whaling for scientific purposes. The country has established a number of protected areas for whales and other endangered areas Ocean.

“This is the beginning of a longer path,” said Sonia Espanol, director of the Blue Boat Initiative. She indicated that her team plans to cover the Gulf with at least six buoys. “The idea is to be able to cover migrants completely road of whales from Antarctica to the equator.”

Workers place a buoy to help avoid ships colliding with whales in the bay area of ​​'Corcovado' in the coast of Chilo, Chile, October 10, 2022 (Fundacion MERI/Handout via REUTERS)

Workers place a buoy to help avoid ships colliding with whales in the bay area of ​​’Corcovado’ in the coast of Chilo, Chile, October 10, 2022 (Fundacion MERI/Handout via REUTERS)

The buoy operates using software called Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment (LIDO). device continuously screens Ocean sounds. It uses artificial intelligence to determine the type of whales and their whereabouts in real time. It then sends messages to nearby ships so they can reduce noise levels and try to avoid collisions.

Buoys also contain sensors to measure water temperatures, oxygen levels, and more to predict ocean health and the effects of climate change. It is expected that this information will be used to help guide public environmental policies.

In the United States, scientists recently Spread Similar warning system to whales off the west coast of America. This system, called Whale Safe, uses buoys to determine the presence of whales.

I’m Brian Lynn.

Reuters reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English.

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The words in this story

float – n. A floating object used in the water to identify dangerous areas for boats

Artificial intelligence – n. Develop computer systems with the ability to perform work that normally requires human intelligence

Ocean n. A group of animals or plants that are similar and can produce small animals or plants

road -n. The way something or someone travels regularly

observer Fifth. Watch something carefully and record the results

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