To protect endangered whales outside San Francisco Bay

USCG has asked large ships to slow down in order to avoid fatal collisions with endangered whales congregating in the food-rich waters around the Farallon Islands, pressdemocrat.com reports

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(photo credit:Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission )

The Coast Guard's message, broadcast over marine band radio, asks heavy vessels - including tankers, container and cruise ships - to approach and exit San Francisco Bay at no more than 10 knots, about half their normal speed.

The slowdown is intended to reduce ship strikes on endangered blue and humpback whales

NOAA requested the slowdown message after biologists stationed on Southeast Farallon Island 30 miles outside the Golden Gate counted a remarkable concentration of whales in late June.

During a one-hour break in the fog on June 27, the Farallon Island biologists counted 33 humpback whales, six blues and one fin whale, Howard said.