The right whale migration and calving season will soon begin along the Atlantic seaboard. The Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Management Areas and the associated speed restrictions of 10 knots will become effective for Mid-Atlantic coast ports from Long Island Sound to Savannah on November 1, 2013 and will remain in place through April 30, 2014.
The Southeast U.S. Seasonal Management Area which includes the ports of Brunswick, Fernandina and Jacksonville, will become effective on November 15, 2013 and will remain in place through April 15, 2014.
In addition to the speed restrictions, vessels of 300 GT or greater operating into the ports of Brunswick, Fernandina and Jacksonville must also comply with the Mandatory Ship Reporting System rules starting on November 15th. MSR requirements will remain in effect through April 15, 2014.
Starting November 15th and running through April 15, 2014, mariners are strongly encouraged to utilize the recommended two-way routes to reduce the likelihood of vessel strikes in those areas where routes have been established in the Southeast Seasonal Management Area off Brunswick, Fernandina and Jacksonville.
Specific dimensions for the Seasonal Management Area and the applicable rules are available on NOAA Fisheries Service Compliance Guide along with additional important information from NOAA at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike/