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Whale Spotting’ App Seeks To Reduce Ship Strikes

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Federal officials trying to reduce the number of whales that are struck and killed by ships sailing in and out of San Francisco Bay are testing a new smartphone application that could help locate the creatures more accurately.

The "Whale Spotter" app would allow sailors, fishermen and marine scientists who spot whales to plot their location on an interactive map. The map could then be used by federal maritime officials to recommend different vessel routes.

The app is part of a collaboration between shipping companies, government officials and scientists to reduce whale strikes.

Whales swim outside the bay each year along the continental shelf, where their food supply is plentiful. Several dead whales suspected to have been killed by ship strikes have washed ashore this year in the Bay Area.

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