Monday, January 23, 2012

{Press} Operation Right Speed: Coast Guard and NOAA Implement Regulations To Protect Whales

Coast Guard Auxilary Live Blog | Auxiliarist Mary Bethea | January 10, 201

"Many people many not know it, but right whales are the rarest of all large whales. Experts estimate that only several hundred Northern right whales exist in the wild because they were hunted to near extinction. This is one of the very reasons that Operation Right Speed has been put in effect until the end of April 2012, reminding larger vessels sailing along the Atlantic Seaboard to slow down for right whales.

Operation Right Speed is a coordinated effort between the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to protect the endangered species during seasonal migration and to educate mariners about these routes. NOAA 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.

The 300 or so right whales found along the east coast of the United States have certain “home bases” for particular times of the year. These regions extend from Massachusetts to Florida and encompass feeding grounds, calving and nursery zones, as well as the migratory routes. By reducing your vessel’s speed in the restricted zones, you can be an ocean steward and help ensure these migratory mammals have a safe passage.

Besides protecting the right whales, the true end goal is to rehabilitate the population."

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