We are assessing the risk of ships striking large whales on the U.S. West Coast. The goal of these assessments is to improve the protection of large whales by identifying shipping routes that minimize the overlap between shipping traffic and areas with high numbers of whales. The tools developed during these assessments would ideally be used at meetings of stakeholders (e.g., Shipping, Coast Guard, Military, Fishing, Whale Watching, and Sanctuaries) to discuss alternative shipping routes.
We recently published a study analyzing alternative shipping routes to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are some of the busiest ports in the United States. We are currently analyzing risk off San Francisco. We will then analyze risk along the whole U.S. West Coast.
Redfern, J. V., M. F. McKenna, T. J. Moore, J. Calambokidis, M. L. DeAngelis, E. A. Becker, J. Barlow, K. A. Forney, P. C. Fiedler, and S. J. Chivers. 2013. Assessing the risk of ships striking large whales in marine spatial planning. Conservation Biology, 27:292-302.