AI-Enhanced Thermal Cameras Reduce Whale Collisions

AI-Enhanced Thermal Cameras Reduce Whale Collisions
Infrared cameras installed on ships could help prevent disastrous whale collisions.

There are only about 80 Southern Resident Killer Whales left, and—among other risks—they are vulnerable to being hit by ships as they travel the marine highways. To help protect these animals, the team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is testing the use of thermal infrared cameras mounted on boats that detect the whales’ body heat as it nears the surface. The thermal images are analyzed by AI algorithms to determine whether the image is a whale or another boat—noting the location if it is a whale—and the system can operate around the clock, with no need for daylight.

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