Wednesday, December 28, 2011

{Press} Big boats asked to slow for migrating whales

The Associated Press | December 27, 2011

"Large vessels sailing off Virginia waters are being reminded to slow down for right whales.

The Coast Guard has implemented Operation Right Speed through April to ensure the migratory mammals have a safe passage along the Atlantic seaboard.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has implemented regulations that require vessels 65 feet or greater to operate at 10 knots or less in areas where the right whales are known to migrate. That includes the waters off Virginia.

A female right whale seen off Georgia this month was the first observed this season.

Right whales are among the most threatened of all whales. The global population is estimated in the hundreds."

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Editor's note:

The current population estimate for North Atlantic right whales, eubalaena glacialis, ranges between 361* and 490**.

*NOAA Stock Assessment Report 2010 based on the minimum number known alive
**New England Aquarium 2011 report card middle estimate

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