Marine Mammals: Ship Strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales
Recommended Routes to Reduce Ship Strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales (November 17, 2006).
Further reducing the anthropogenic threat of ship strikes to endangered right whales, NOAA, again backed by analysis and prepared by the USCG, established recommended shipping routes in key right whale aggregation areas on November 17, 2006. The routes have been established within Cape Cod Bay and the calving/nursery areas in waters off Georgia and Florida. Positioning of the routes is based on data from the USCG/NOAA jointly operated Mandatory Ship Reporting systems, and years of right whale sighting data. They are an attempt to reduce the co-occurrence of whales and ships by minimizing ship transit times in whale habitat, avoiding specific whale aggregation areas, while also ensuring navigational safety and minimizing adverse effects on the shipping industry. If routine use of the recommended routes is low (although it is not expected to be), NOAA will consider making the routes mandatory.
Additional reference information:
- NOAA Enforces Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule (November 16, 2010). NOAA News Release
- Final Rule to Implement Speed Restrictions to Reduce the Threat of Ship Collisions with North Atlantic Right Whales. 73 Fed. Reg. 60173 (October 10, 2010)
- Further information on the routes, charts depicting where they occur, and a related press release can be found at Ship Strike Routes.
- "Endangered Right Whales Headed South for Winter, Alert for Mariners and Fishers in Southeast U.S. Waters," NOAA News Release (November 13, 2007)
- Latest Right Whale Sightings
- Mammals Encounters Education and Research (MEER): Ship Strikes of Cetaceans offsite link