Thursday, November 04, 2010

{Press} Right Whale seasonal management is in effect

Examiner.com | November 3, 2010

"The right whale migration and calving season is beginning along the Atlantic seaboard, says the Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange

The right whale ship strike reduction Seasonal Management Areas and their associated speed restrictions of 10 knots became effective for Mid-Atlantic coast ports from Long Island Sound to Savannah on November 1 and remain in place through April 30, 2011.

Specific dimensions for the Seasonal Management Area and the applicable rules are available on NOAA Fisheries Service Compliance Guide along with additional important information from NOAA at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike/.

For vessels operating further south, the Southeast U.S. Seasonal Management Area which includes the ports of Brunswick, Fernandina and Jacksonville, becomes effective on November 15 and remains in place through April 15. In addition to the speed restrictions, vessels operating in this area must also comply with the Mandatory Ship Reporting System rules.

Mariners are also strongly encouraged to utilize the recommended two-way routes to reduce the likelihood of vessel strikes in those areas where routes have been established off Brunswick, Fernandina and Jacksonville.

NOAA Fisheries Service has prepared Shipboard Right Whale Protection Program loose-leaf notebook that includes general guidelines for vessels operating where right whales may be present and includes the latest version of the Prudent Mariner’s Guide to Right Whale Protection CD. Copies of these notebooks should soon be available at the Marine Exchange in Jacksonville, Maritime Assn. in Savannah and Charleston, and at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Wilmington, N.C."

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