off the coast of Patagonia, a dangerous avoidance game

In this video unveiled by the magazine Science, we observe the path of a cetacean which tries to make its way between very many vessels.

American weekly Science made a video which models maritime traffic off the coast of Chilean Patagonia as well as the trajectory of a whale trying to progress in the middle of several hundred ships. The model is based on data provided by a study published on 1is February in the review Scientific Reports.

The animation represents a week of activity in the area. The behavior of the whale (the blue dot) is based on observations described in the study, and that of boats (orange dots), on official maritime traffic data.

Video of AEeIo4FX2SE

Luis Bedriñana-Romano, researcher at the Institute of Maritime and Limnological Sciences of the Southern University of Chile and first author of the publication in Scientific Reports, followed for five years with his team the activity of fifteen blue whales off the coast of Chilean Patagonia. In their conclusions, the researchers propose a method for evaluating sectors at high risk of collision between cetaceans and boats that could allow better anticipation of encounters in order to protect animals.

Because the risk of hitting a ship represents a major danger for these mammals, which are also already threatened with extinction, report it Guardian. “Any fatal collision represents a real threat to their preservation”, Luis Bedriñana-Romano is alarmed by the British daily. Science comments for his part:

This animation shows how dangerous the area is for people. [baleines bleues] and could serve as a basis for future preservation policies [de l’espèce].”

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