Speed Limit Zones Working to Protect Right Whales

Speed Limit Zones Working to Protect Right Whales
Photo: NOAA/NEFSC Peter Duley

A recent NOAA study shows that notifying mariners and issuing citations for speed-limit violations in zones designed to protect right whales is effective.

The report shows that scientists have not encountered any right whales that have been struck by a large vessel in regulated areas since the speed limit rules went into effect in November 2008. From that date until August 2013, a total of 26 owners or operators received citations and were fined for violating the speed limit.

“We’ve shown that notifying the mariners of their responsibilities, along with issuing citations when applicable, results in widespread compliance,” NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources director Donna Wieting said in the press release.

Read more about speed limit zones designed to protect right whales.