With only 300-400 in existence, North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered whales in the world. Their slow movements, time spent at the surface, and time spent near the coast make them highly vulnerable human activities, especially being struck by ships. Right whales occupy and forage in four distinct areas in the Northeast in January through July: Cape Cod Bay, the area off of Race Point at the northern end of Cape Cod, the Great South Channel, and the Northern Gulf of Maine. The National Marine Fisheries Service announces that voluntary vessel speed restriction zones under the dynamic management area program are in effect in the vicinity of Nantucket, Massachusetts until Mar 22, and the Great South Channel until Mar 24 to protect aggregations of right whales. Mariners are requested to route around the zones or transit through them at 10 knots or less. Actual coordinates and general information about voluntary vessel speed restrictions can be found at NOAA’s Right Whale Page. (Via Via USCGC Escanaba)
About John Konrad
Captain John Konrad is the founder and CEO of gCaptain and author of the book Fire On The Horizon. John is a USCG licensed Master of Unlimited Tonnage and has sailed a variety of ships from ports around the world.