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Right Whale

NOAA, USCG Provide Commercial Mariners with Guide to Right Whale Protection

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service and the U.S. Coast Guard announce the availability of "A Prudent Mariner's Guide to Right Whale Protection" - an interactive, multi-media CD program that serves as a guide and voluntary training resource for commercial mariners operating in right whale habitats along the U.S. Atlantic coast. The CD, distributed free-of-charge upon request, provides a comprehensive collection of right whale information delivered in a compact and user-friendly format. The program includes: crew training information about right whales, recommended navigational actions when operating in right whale habitat, a guide to reporting sightings of dead or injured right whales, an informative video presentation, and a short follow-up quiz. It also provides guidelines for compliance with the Mandatory Ship Reporting Systems, including an innovative, interactive report generation program, as well as key supplementary information contained in a separate "Media" folder, such as video clips, information about the current Mandatory Ship Reporting areas, and diagrams of the recently implemented, recommended traffic lanes in right whale high-use areas. NOAA Fisheries, in collaboration with the Coast Guard and a number of other partners, developed the CD program and is currently targeting shipping companies and vessel operators who plan to ensure the CDs are delivered directly to vessels and included in bridge management training

Changes in Vessel Operations Protects Whales

Years of study and effort by NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard will pay off this summer when two changes to shipping lanes into Boston are implemented. Both changes significantly reduce the risk of collisions between large ships and whales. Beginning on June 1, ships 300 gross tons and above will be asked to avoid an area in the Great South Channel from April through July, when right whales face the highest chance of being struck by ships

North Atlantic Right Whale – port access routing study

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a port access routing study to analyze potential vessel routing measures and consider adjusting existing vessel routing measures in order to reduce vessel strikes on the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. The areas under consideration include Cape Cod Bay and possibly Race Point and the Great South Channel in the northern region and approaches to Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, and Brunswick in the southern region

This Day in Coast Guard History – May 17

1999-The Coast Guard "kept the peace" when the Makah Indian tribe hunted and killed a gray whale in Neah Bay, Washington.  The Makah were guaranteed the right to hunt whales in their 1855 treaty with the U.S. (Source: USCG Historian’s)

Avoiding Collisions with the North Atlantic Right Whale

“Since implementation of mandatory seasonal speed restrictions along the U.S. east coast in 2008, the number of vessel struck right whales like this one has been dramatically reduced.”

A Training Module for all Mariners Professional mariners have a unique responsibility as they transit the world’s oceans. Mariners see a part of this earth that the vast majority of humanity will never witness and, in turn, they become stewards of the ocean by following the numerous regulatory measures aimed at reducing the impact of shipping on the environment. These regulations include, but certainly are not limited to, the use of AIS to avoid collisions and harmful oil spills

Deep-Water Rig Can Expect Unfriendly NZ Reception

SV Tiama: Photo credit Greenpeace NZ

New Zealand environmentalists wait patiently aboard their yacht 'SV Tiama' for the arrival of Texas' Anadarko rig 'Noble Bob Douglas' at the deep-sea drilling site about 110 nm west of Raglan. Crew member Bunny McDiarmid sets the scene in her blog post: "Out on the Tasman it is still, sunny and calm. The water has been so flat lately that, ironically, it’s technically known as "oily seas" because there’s a sheen over the water

Blue Whale Operations Update

Coast Guard District Eleven continues to support the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in conducting overflights to monitor the locations of blue whales in the Santa Barbara Channel and surrounding area. This information is being passed to vessel agents to increase industry awareness. Since September 8, 2007, two blue whale carcasses have been discovered in the Santa Barbara Channel, and one was discovered in Long Beach Harbor

Court Strikes New Balance for Navy, Whales

The U.S. Navy can go ahead with training exercises this month using sonar off the California coast but should afterward implement new guidelines to protect whales, a U.S. appeals court said, according to a Reuters report. For years, U.S. courts have weighed the rights of whales to live undisturbed versus U.S. national security needs. The order of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the latest effort to strike the right balance.

Whale Struck by Container Ship, Carcass Removed from Seattle Area Beach

Photo: Global Diving & Salvage

Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. was contracted to remove the fin whale that had washed up on the Seahurst Park beach in Burien, WA. Global removed the carcass and prevented its further decomposition in the city park. On April 13, several reports were made to the U.S. Coast Guard that a whale had washed up approximately five miles south of Seattle’s Alki Point. The fin whale, not local to thearea, was believed to have been struck by a container ship at sea and brought into the Puget

NOAA Issues Whale Advisory to Mariners

(Photo: Whale Alert ©John Calambokidis)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) broadcasted an advisory concerning populations of endangered whales off the coast of California, stating large numbers of endangered whales are being observed along the coastline.   Voluntary vessel speed reduction zones are currently in effect for the San Francisco and Santa Barbara traffic separation schemes (TSS).    NOAA is asking mariners to help track whales by reporting whale sightings

Five Killed in Sinking of Whale-watching Boat

Leviathan II (File photo: Jamies Whaling Station and Adventure Centres)

Five Britons were killed when a Canadian whale-watching boat sank on Sunday, the British foreign secretary said on Monday. The boat, carrying 27 passengers, sank off the coast of British Columbia on Sunday afternoon, sparking a rescue effort by the Coast Guard, fisherman and private mariners

Update: Whale-watching Vessel Sinks, Five Dead

Leviathan II (File photo: Jamies Whaling Station and Adventure Centres)

Five Britons were killed when a Canadian whale-watching boat sank on Sunday, and authorities were still searching on Monday for a sixth person feared drowned in the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia.  

US Places Speed Restrictions to Protect Whales

Vessel speed restrictions have been set in hopes of helping to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales by reducing the likelihood of collisions between ships and marine life, GAC reports.   The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Delaware Bay has advised mariners of the speed restrictions

Canada Investigating Leviathan II Sinking

Leviathan II (File photo: Jamies Whaling Station and Adventure Centres)

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) continues its investigation into the sinking of passenger vessel which killed at least five near Tofino, British Columbia, Sunday.   Of the 24 passengers and three crew aboard the whale-watching tour boat Leviathan II at the time of the

Voluntary Right Whale Speed Restriction Zone in Rhode Island

Right Whale Courtesy NOAA

  A voluntary vessel speed restriction zone (Dynamic Management Area - DMA) has been established in Rhode Island Sound to protect an aggregation of 4 right whales sighted in this area on April 1, 2015. This DMA is in effect immediately through April 16, 2015

BP Wins Right to Appeal Gulf Spill Damages Claims

BP Plc deserves the right to have a federal appeals court review some damage claims awarded under the settlement to compensate people and businesses harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday.   The 5th U.S

Seattle Flotilla Protests Shell's Arctic Drilling Plans

Environment Friendly Port of Seattle

  Hundreds of activists in kayaks and small boats fanned out on a Seattle bay on Saturday to protest plans by Royal Dutch Shell to resume oil exploration in the Arctic and keep two of its drilling rigs stored in the city's port. Environmental groups have vowed to disrupt the Anglo-Dutch

Enforcement of Maritime Passenger Rights Regulation

Maritime passenger rights regulation

  The maritime passenger rights regulation entered into force on 12 December 2012. It made it possible for passengers to complain to the authorities about, for example, cancellations and delays. Until now, this has resulted in only a few complaints.

NOAA Declares Whale Deaths an ‘Unusual Morality Event’

Bears feeding on a fin whale carcass in Larson Bay, Alaska, near Kodiak. Credit: NOAA

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared the recent deaths of 30 large whales in the western Gulf of Alaska an "unusual mortality event," triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause

Climate Change Will Forever Alter Key Ocean Microbes

Image: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

 Global warming will irrevocably mutate a micro-organism that plays a crucial role in the ocean food chain, reports a study.   Trichodesmium (referred to as “Tricho” for brief by researchers) is likely one of the few organisms within the ocean that may “repair”

Occurrence of Humpback Whales at Franz Josef Land Recorded

Humpback Whales at Franz Josef Land

  Scientists first documented occurrence of humpback whales near the archipelago of Franz Josef Land. Experts attribute this to the successful development of their populations. The usual habitat in the Red Book of Russia humpback whales is far south and west of Franz Josef Land

Boston Harbor Cruises Named a Top Small Business

This summer, BHC’s high-speed catamaran Salacia, known as the Provincetown Fast Ferry, made its maiden voyage after undergoing a $2.6 million engine refit. (Photo: BHC)

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce has named passenger vessels operator Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC) as the 2015 Small Business of the Year Awards top honoree.    The Small Business of the Year Awards recognizes Greater Boston’s smaller for-profit companies

Port Monitors Impact of Ship Noise on Whales

Photo: Port Metro Vancouver

Underwater listening station launched to better understand impact of ship noise on at-risk whales   Underwater noise has been identified as a key threat to at-risk whales. In order to better understand and manage the impact of shipping activities on whales throughout the southern coast of

Blue Whales Return to Barents Sea

Return of the blue whales

  Employees of the Institute of Sea Research spotted 17 species of blue whales in the Barents Sea in the area of ​​Svalbard. Animals returned to the region after a century of absence. On these meetings the giant cetaceans reported this summer, coast guard ships, and even cruise ships

Tour Boat Sinks in Canada, Five Dead

The whale watching boat Leviathan II sits partially submerged in the ocean west of Tofino. Photograph By Albert Titian, via Facebook

 At least five people died after a whale watching boat with 27 people on board sank off Vancouver Island and a rescue mission remained active late Sunday, says Canadian authorities.   21 other people have been recovered from the water, says Lt

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