NOAA Fisheries Remind Boaters to Reduce Speeds Near Whales

Three rare North Atlantic right whales photographed in Cape Cod Bay by Center for Coastal Studies aerial survey team on February 21, 2016. CCS image taken under NOAA permit #14603-1.

Three rare North Atlantic right whales photographed in Cape Cod Bay by Center for Coastal Studies aerial survey team on February 21, 2016.
CCS image taken under NOAA permit #14603-1.

BARNSTABLE – NOAA Fisheries is reminding mariners to reduce speeds as whale activity remains in area waters.

Vessels that are 65 feet or longer must travel at 10 knots or less in areas where endangered North Atlantic right whales may be present.

This rule is in effect within 20 miles of all major ports in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states.

A program has also been established for temporary volunteer speed limits which are known as Dynamic Management Areas. These areas are designated when three or more right whales are confirmed in a certain area. The DMA’s are posted online here.

Email alerts are also sent out to boaters. To sign up for alerts click here.

These requirements were put in place to protect the right whales which are believed to have a population around 500.

Earlier this month a right whale calf was killed after an apparent boat strike off the coast of Chatham.

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