Scientists have pled for action to be taken to prevent these strikes for years, and recently some steps have been taken in the right direction. For years, the whales were tracked using airplanes or boats and were then plotted onto charts to give ships the "best idea" of where the animals might be. However, these tracking trips were frequently prevented by weather or budget issues so were rarely accurate.Stellwagen bank has recently installed a series of bouys lining the shipping lanes, as reported by The Boston Globe. These bouys listen for the signature sounds that Right Whales make underwater and send a signal to oncoming ships that the animals are in the area. This gives the ship a chance to slow down or change course to avoid killing one of the precious whales. To see the bouys in actions, check out the video from The Boston Globe here.
This comes as an answer to the controversy about changing the routes of the shipping lanes. Scientists claimed that this was the safest option for the animals, while shipping conglomerates complained of the costs it would incur. Nevertheless, lanes have been moved, both in Stellwagen Bank and in Canada, showing a victory for scientists involved with preventing the extinction of Right Whales.