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  #1  
Old 10-09-2008
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Lower Speed Limits On East Coast

US lowers ship speeds along East Coast to reduce collisions with endangered right whales
Associated Press


WASHINGTON - To save a slow-moving species of whale that lives along the Atlantic coast, the government is telling ships to slow down.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday issued a 11.5-mile-per-hour speed limit for ships 65 feet or longer that travel within 23 miles of major mid-Atlantic ports, and in areas where the North Atlantic right whale breeds, feeds and migrates. The regulation will go into effect in December.

Government marine scientists had initially proposed a 34-mile-wide coastal speed zone around the ports. That recommendation was scaled back after the White House questioned the science linking ship speed to whale deaths.

The North Atlantic right whale has been protected as an endangered species since 1970. Despite warning systems and aerial surveys to locate whales in shipping lanes, only 300-400 whales remain in the wild. The major remaining threat to the species is ship strikes, which from 1997 to 2001 killed about one to two right whales per year, according to federal officials.

The speed limit will be the first put in place to protect a species along the Atlantic coast. A federal analysis issued earlier this year said that the limit could cost the shipping industry millions of dollars in lost revenue. It would affect most commercial ships, including ferries, cruise liners and even whale-watching vessels.

SHIP STRIKE REDUCTION

Collision with vessels is the leading human-caused source of mortality for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Encouraging responsible boating practices and understanding the distribution of right whales are two key components to reducing the risk of ship strike. The Northeast Regional Office conducts mariner outreach, collects information on ship strike events, participates in NOAA’s national Ship Strike Reduction Strategy, and funds and coordinates aerial surveys and research programs to improve our understanding of vessel collision events and develop effective programs to further reduce the threat of ship strike to whales.

NOAA Fisheries Service Northeast Ship Strike Reduction Program
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2008
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Save The Whales!!!
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Old 10-09-2008
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Better warn Guiletta, LOL
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Old 10-09-2008
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Funny, they'll make a law to restrict speed of a powered vessel to save a life a whale, but not one to save the life of a sailor drifting along at 5mph. Seems like you can run right over those slow pokes at 65mph, and get off scot free.
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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
Funny, they'll make a law to restrict speed of a powered vessel to save a life a whale, but not one to save the life of a sailor drifting along at 5mph. Seems like you can run right over those slow pokes at 65mph, and get off scot free.
All you need is some inside help.

I wonder what other measures were seriously considered for this protection of the whales.
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Old 10-10-2008
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$115 million per year to save perhaps two whales per year. They're not real sure on the actual number because they don't know the number being struck now. We're pretty sure about the $115 millions because we can calculate the economic costs of slowing the ships. this strikes me as another easily known cost against an unknown benefit. They're guessing at the numbers struck and killed. Their not guessing at how much it's going to cost to slow down.

They might consider investing some effort in determining why the population is not growing; at two deaths per year it's not ships causing the problem.

With the kind of money lost that they're talking about I'm wondering if each of the three hundred whales might be tagged, fitted with an AIS transponder for far less money, and far greater coverage, and then mariners could slow down or take evasive action as they would in any other collision avoidance situation.
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I doubt whales follow the rules of the water, and could easily cut across the bow of a ship.
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Old 10-11-2008
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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
I doubt whales follow the rules of the water, and could easily cut across the bow of a ship.
That's rich! Mariners could treat the whales just as they do sailboats; be prepared for any goofy manoeuver they might make! (g)
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