Right Whales Speed Restriction Zone Off Nantucket Extended

NANTUCKET – NOAA Fisheries has extended a voluntary vessel speed restriction zone south of Nantucket in an effort to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The Dynamic Management Area was extended after an aggregation of the whales were spotted about 22 miles southeast of Nantucket on September 9.

Mariners are asked to travel around the DMA or transit through at 10 knots or less.

The speed restriction is in effect through September 24.

Scientists estimate there are only about 400 remaining, which makes the species one of the rarest marine mammals in the world.

Vessel strikes and entanglements are the leading cause of death for the animals.

NOAA is asking fishermen to be vigilant when maneuvering to avoid accidental collisions with whales and remove unused gear from the ocean to help avoid entanglements.

Commercial fishermen are also asked to use vertical lines with required markings, weak links, and breaking strengths.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.

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