Marine Mammals: Ship Strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales

 

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ALBATROSS IV transiting the Cape Cod Ship Canal

Photo 21: ALBATROSS IV transiting the Cape Cod Ship Canal.
(NOAA Photo Library.)

Recommended Routes to Reduce Ship Strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales (November 17, 2006).

Further reducing the anthropogenic threat of ship strikes to endangered right whales, NOAA, again backed by analysis and prepared by the USCG, established recommended shipping routes in key right whale aggregation areas on November 17, 2006. The routes have been established within Cape Cod Bay and the calving/nursery areas in waters off Georgia and Florida. Positioning of the routes is based on data from the USCG/NOAA jointly operated Mandatory Ship Reporting systems, and years of right whale sighting data. They are an attempt to reduce the co-occurrence of whales and ships by minimizing ship transit times in whale habitat, avoiding specific whale aggregation areas, while also ensuring navigational safety and minimizing adverse effects on the shipping industry. If routine use of the recommended routes is low (although it is not expected to be), NOAA will consider making the routes mandatory.

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