Using Ship Speed and Mass to Describe Potential Collision Severity with Whales: An Application of the Ship Traffic, Energy and Environment Model (STEEM)

Report

Title: Using Ship Speed and Mass to Describe Potential Collision Severity with Whales: An Application of the Ship Traffic, Energy and Environment Model (STEEM)
Publication Date:
January 01, 2007
Pages: 18
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Citation

Wang, C.; Lyons, S.; Corbett, J.; Firestone, J. (2007). Using Ship Speed and Mass to Describe Potential Collision Severity with Whales: An Application of the Ship Traffic, Energy and Environment Model (STEEM). Report by University of Delaware. pp 18.
Abstract: 

This paper presents an application of the Ship Traffic, Energy, and Environment Model (STEEM) to estimate and visualize the risk and severity of collision between ships and the North Atlantic Right Whales along the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic coast. According to the physics of the interaction between a ship and a whale, for ships larger than 500 tons, speed is more important than the size of a ship in determining a lethal injury to a whale. Reducing ship speed could reduce the ton-force significantly. The visual representation of the risk and potential severity of ship-whale collision along the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic coast shows that the coast between Jacksonville, FL and Savannah, VA, the major shipping lanes of Cape Cod, the mouth of Bay of Fundy, and the area south to Nova Scotia, Canada (Roseway Basin) are the areas with highest risk of severe or lethal injury due to a ship strikes. On the waterway network the distribution of ton-force of ship traffic is rather uniform, and thus, the distribution of whales rather than ton-force determines the distribution of risk of potential severity of injury to whales. We use impact physics from known ship strikes to estimate the probability of injury severity and whale death, showing that these outcomes are correlated with shipwhale collisions at different speeds and masses.

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