In 2018 and 2019 there were a record 27 documented whale-ship collisions off the coast of California, although the actual number is likely to be much higher.To reduce the number of deadly collisions, the Benioff Ocean Initiative launched Whale Safe on Sept. 17.The new mapping and analysis tool alerts mariners when whales are likely present in the busy Santa Barbara Channel near Los Angeles, drawing on data from an acoustic monitoring buoy, on-the-water sighting reports, and computer modeling.If whales are likely nearby, the developers hope large vessels will slow to speeds that are less harmful to whales in a collision. Their decision whether to do so remains voluntary. In August, whale-watchers witnessed something remarkable off the coast of California: 30 blue whales, the largest animal that has ever lived and a typically solitary species, all feeding in the same small area. Yet for whale scientists, the news was as terrifying as it was incredible. The whales were eating in and around the Santa Barbara Channel, where shipping lanes serve the major ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, scooping up mouthfuls of krill as container ships three times the length of a football field and 15 stories high steamed past. Over the two years prior, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) documented a record 27 whale-ship collisions off California. Estimates suggest these whales represent only a fraction of the true number struck or killed by ships. Most whale strikes go unnoticed and many whales that die sink before humans ever see the carnage. And with maritime shipping traffic forecast to increase by 240% to 1,209% worldwide by 2050, more whales are at risk of meeting the same fate. Not far from where the blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) had gathered, a new monitoring system is trying to give these ocean giants a swimming chance. Launched Sept. 17, the Whale Safe system alerts ship operators to whales’ presence, with the aim of encouraging vessels to slow down when whales are near.