Monday, July 26, 2021

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90% of ships exceeded US mandatory speed limits in 2017-2020, Oceana report finds

A new report by ocean conservancy group Oceana identified up to 90% non-compliance of ships in mandatory speed zones and 85% in voluntary areas established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) along the US Atlantic coast, from 2017 to 2020. Speed reduction measures are set in particular areas of North America aiming to prevent collisions of ships with the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only around 360 remain globally. Collisions with vessels are one of two leading causes of injury and death for North Atlantic right whales. Studies have found that slowing vessel speeds to 10 knots reduces a North Atlantic right whale’s risk of death from vessel strikes by between 80% to 90%. Oceana’s analysis shows that speeding vessels are rampant throughout North Atlantic right whales’ migration route, all along the East Coast, and in both mandatory and voluntary speed zones. North Atlantic right whales are dying from vessel strikes and NOAA must take action to prevent this. Killing even one is a problem, as scientists estimate that even a single human-caused North Atlantic right whale death a year threatens the species’ chances of recovery, ...said Whitney Webber, campaign director at Oceana. As explained, ...

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