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New underwater glider to help scientists track movements of endangered right whales

Click to play video: 'Ocean sighting of North Pacific Right Whale off Haida Gwaii generates major excitement' Ocean sighting of North Pacific Right Whale off Haida Gwaii generates major excitement
Marine biologists have spotted a critically-endangered Right Whale of the coast of Haida Gwaii, only the fourth sighting in B.C. waters in seven decades. Paul Johnson has the story, and the incredible pictures – Jun 18, 2021

A new marine robot will be used to help monitor and protect endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The underwater glider is part of a fleet of gliders operated by the Ocean Tracking Network and Dalhousie University in connection with a $3.6-million project spanning the next five years.

The University of New Brunswick and Transport Canada are also partners.

Read more: Whale’s survival needs fishers, regulators to innovate to avoid entanglements: film

Fred Whoriskey of the Ocean Tracking Network says the newest glider will carry a hydrophone that can identify the calls of the right whales and report their locations in order to prevent ships from colliding with the animals.

Scientists estimate there are fewer that 400 of the whales left in existence.

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Whoriskey says he believes his team’s research, which includes analyzing the animals’ movements, will help the species bounce back.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 19, 2021.

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