Company or Institution
Whale Seeker, Inc.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 14: Life Below Water
General description of the AI solution
Protecting and restoring global whale populations is an often overlooked but immensely effective avenue for carbon sequestration. Whales are long-lived carbon reservoirs and play a vital role in supplying nutrients for phytoplankton growth, which in turn absorb up to half of global CO2 emissions. A single whale provides over $1 million in carbon sequestration services over its lifetime. However, maritime activity will increase by up to 1209% by 2050, putting already strained whale populations at greater risk of human-caused mortality. These threats greatly disrupt ocean carbon absorption and stifle gains from reducing emissions. A major barrier to whale conservation is the lack of scalable, standardised methods for monitoring whales over vast, remote regions.
The current standard for surveying whale populations requires months of painstaking manual aerial imagery analysis, preventing timely and evidence-based decision-making required for reducing harm to wildlife. Due to the financial and human resources required, only a fraction of existing datasets is analysed.
We have developed Mobius, a proprietary AI-assisted system that complements human expertise to detect, locate and classify whales using remote aerial imagery. Our technology is used to help industries comply with regulatory or value-driven sustainability goals by mitigating impact on biodiversity, and enable governments to establish evidence-based policy and manage protected areas. Our mission is to leverage cutting edge artificial intelligence to enable humans and whales to not only coexist, but to thrive.
Boulent, J, Charry, B, Kennedy, M, Tissier, E, Fan, R, Marcoux, M, Watt, CA, Gagné-Turcotte, A (submitted). Scaling whale monitoring using AI: a Human-in-the-loop solution for analyzing new aerial datasets. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.
2022 Ocean Exchange Neptune Award and Orcelle Award finalist
2022 BOAT International Innovation Award runner-up
B Corporation certification (2021); first AI company in Quebec, and first AI company in service of wildlife to achieve B Corp status.
Charry B, Tissier E, Iacozza J, Marcoux M, Watt CA (2021) Mapping Arctic cetaceans from space: A case study for beluga and narwhal. PLoS ONE 16(8): e0254380. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254380