Although the captivating species of the harbor seals are fairly stable in many parts of the world and can be seen in just about every zoo, when it comes to southeastern Alaska, there is a decline. The harbor seals rest and breed at nearby glacier icebergs; however, since the availability of the ice is changing, it affects the seals’ behaviors, which are important for their reproduction and survival.
There are two different studies that have been conducted, one through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) and the other through the National Park Service (NPS). Both found the seals could be changing their behavior and distribution in order to acclimate with the changing locations of ice because of the glaciers retreating.
Jamie Womble, who is leading the Glacier Bay NPS research, is working closely with her team to figure out the precise movements and distribution of the seals and how it relates to the glacier ice.
One particular method being used that is working effectively is Aerial tracking. This involves flying above the ice and counting the seals. Another method for tracking the seals movements is through the use of GPS tracking devices, which are glued to the seals. There is little risk to the seals since during the following summer’s molt season, the GPS tracking technology will come off safely.
Although the seals movements and migration have been going extensively away from Glacier Bay, Womble and her team found the seals’ return rate was fairly high following breeding/pupping season.
Womble and her team studied both the patterns of seal movements and distances in which they traveled in relation to the ice. Ice distribution inside John Hopkins Inlet was also studied by the team. This analysis was then correlated with aerial tracking information so that they team could examine the relationship between the seals and the ice.
Seal pupping is decreasing due to the eastern side Glacier Bay rapid retreat. During the time when the pups are newborn and are being weaned off of the mother seals, the pups rest on the flat icebergs. It was found, however, that there were no longer any seals pupping in Muir Inlet by 2008 and in McBride Inlet, there were only 200 seals counted.
The importance of studying how, why and when the seals use the glaciers and whether the retreat of them is having a negative impact on the seals is being emphasized in an ADFG report. Also being documented in the report are other glacier retreat instances, seals movements, weight, diet, and how tour vessels affect the seals.
Municipal agencies are necessary to keep large cities and small towns alike operating effectively. The average city couldn’t function without the valuable services you provide. However, you are operating on the taxpayers’ dollars so it’s important to do whatever is possible to keep expenses low while offering the most efficient possible services. GPS fleet tracking systems can assist with both these criteria and more.
Simplifies Dispatch Responsibilities
A busy municipal dispatcher has a lot of balls in the air at any given time. Dropping even one of those balls can be costly for the city. GPS fleet tracking allows dispatchers to instantly see the location of all vehicles on a map so they can quickly identify which vehicle is closest to the target location. This shaves miles off the day for drivers, is a more efficient process for dispatching, and ultimately leads to tasks being completed faster without the wasted hours of labor while drivers cross paths throughout the day.
Promotes Safer Driving Habits
Safe driving is important – especially for municipal agencies who need to strive to set safe driving examples for the general public in your city. GPS fleet tracking for municipalities allows you options to receive notification whenever any of your vehicles are going faster than the speed limit, accelerating too quickly, braking hard, or driving aggressively. This allows you to deal with the behavior of drivers and take appropriate disciplinary action to discourage these types of behaviors behind the wheel of city vehicles.
Reduces Transportation and Operating Costs
Municipal services can take quite a bite out of the city budget. Managing and reducing costs by using GPS fleet services to plan more efficient routing, notify you of pending maintenance needs, reduce fuel costs, reduce traffic citations, and lower insurance costs can help you keep those costs under control better than any predecessors in your position. It’s a feather in your cap that also helps to boost its value by reducing labor costs substantially as well. Way to go!
Improves Record Keeping and Documentation
Record keeping can be the bane of any fleet operator’s position. From drivers who forget to turn in logs, fail to get the appropriate signatures, or simply don’t bother to keep track of fuel receipts, it can be beyond maddening. GPS fleet tracking systems allow you the opportunity to record these things electronically so that you no longer need to chase drivers down in hopes of getting the information you seek for those charts, files, and reports that are so important. Get rid of those slips of paper and record everything on a tablet device. It really is a whole new world of record keeping and GPS fleet tracking plays an important role.
A new fishermen’s water safety course is being conducted in Castletownbere. Over the past decade, 53 fishermen died at sea, which has encouraged the launch of a national campaign through the fisheries board BIM to encourage seafarers to wear lifejackets equipped with GPS tracking technology. In the sector in 2015 alone, there were 4 fishing-related deaths.
Caitlin Ui Aodha, a skipper herself, backs the campaign since she lost her husband, Michael Hayes in 2012 in a fishing tragedy off Union Hall in Tit Bonhomme.
The Irish Sea Fisheries Board, Bord lascaigh Mhara (BIM), has now disclosed its public relations and national advertising campaign against abrupt death statistics.
The hope is that the campaign will get more fishermen to wear their lifejackets whenever at sea and complete involuntary safety survival training through BIM. These personal flotation device (PFD) lifejackets in the campaign are equipped with GPS tracking devices, which will send signals out to emergency services when activated and provide them with the exact location of the devices.
In this campaign, there are compelling advertisements designed to make fishermen seriously consider the repercussions of not wearing the lifejackets with this modern tracking technology. According to Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, hopefully fishing families all over the country will back up the campaign so that when their loved ones go out to their boats, they wear their PFD lifejackets so their safe return home is ensured.
The campaign is vital to keeping those in the fishing industry safe, offering peace of mind for their families and improving the overall survival rate of the industry, says Tara McCarthy, Clonakilty woman and CEO of BIM.
GPS tracking is not used in traditional lifejackets, which means that it could take days before a lost fisherman is found out at sea and cause a great deal of anxiety for their family. With the PFD lifejackets, the tracking devices in them are activated when they hit water, which means faster recovery time and more chances of the lost fishermen being alive when found.