Many species of whales and dolphins are vulnerable to collisions with vessels that can sustain serious damage to the ship and also injure or kill the animal. There is no universal solution to the problem of ship strikes but clearly the most effective way to reduce collision risk is to keep whales and ships apart. And that's exactly what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is trying to do.
I recently presented on the basics of AIS (both terrestrial and satellite) to a group at the 19th Biennial Conference Society for Marine Mammalogy. The workshop was on using AIS for the protection of the environment and in particular whale species.