New restrictions on ships to protect upcoming whales

Federal authorities have been analyzing the rules of the shipping industry for the past few years and are now announcing new guidelines for protecting extinct whale species.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration We are reviewing the speed regulations used to protect North Atlantic According to the whale on the right, and spokesman Alison Ferreira, the agency will announce new proposed rules within the next few weeks. The public comment process continues.

Environmentalists have long sought stricter transport rules to protect whales that have less than 340 whales and are vulnerable to collisions with large vessels. In recent years, the population has been declining due to high mortality and inadequate breeding.

“These are the two major threats to this species: fishing gear entanglement and ship strikes,” he said. Biodiversity Center..

The new rules may extend the existing protection of whales that are currently protected by a network of “slow zones”, requiring seafarers to move slowly to avoid whale collisions.

Some slow zones are required, others are optional. Conservatives have long called for all of them to be obligatory and more to be obligatory. Others are asking NOAA to apply the rules to vessels less than 65 feet (19.8 meters) in length, which is the current cutoff.

According to NOAA records, more than 50 whales were attacked by ships between the spring of 1999 and the spring of 2018. Clashes are not always fatal, but wildlife advocates warn that sublethal doses may reduce the chances of whales breeding.

The Shipping Association has warned NOAA for many years to ensure that speed rules do not cause dangerous conditions at sea. The change is “based on the best information available and will be completed through public notice and comments,” Ferreira said.

Whales were once abundant off the east coast, but were decimated during the era of commercial whaling. They have been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act for over 50 years.

Whales feed on New England and Canada and move to the waters of Georgia and Florida to give birth. They have been backed by the reserve for years, but scientists say that rising seawater temperatures are increasing whales to get lost in the route in search of food.

New restrictions on ships to protect upcoming whales

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