Thursday, April 22, 2010

{Press} Mass. warns boaters of right whales off coast | April 22, 2010

"BOSTON—State environmental officials are warning boaters to use caution in coastal waters off Martha's Vineyard in order to avoid rare right whales.

There are only about 400 North Atlantic right whales left, and they migrate to waters off Massachusetts every spring.

State and federal officials say about 100 of the animals are west and south of Martha's Vineyard, including two pairs of mothers and calves.

The Division of Marine Fisheries on Thursday urged vessels to slow to less than 10 knots and post lookouts.

Ship strikes are the leading human cause of death of the animal, and the collisions are also dangerous to mariners.

The warning comes the day after a man drowned after a marine mammal believed to be a whale flipped his canoe."

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