NANTUCKET, Mass. - The federal government is going to continue using a protected zone to try to help endangered whales travel safely until at least late April.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established the zone south of Nantucket earlier this year to protect a group of right whales. The agency says the zone will remain in effect through April 23. Fifteen North Atlantic right whales were seen in the area April 7.
A reminder to all that there are *many* (160 observed on Sunday, about 40% of pop) #rightwhales in Cape Cod Bay right now, so if you're on the water, please keep a close lookout and go slowly! Report sightings: #WhaleAlert https://t.co/cj7yiL280F 866-755-6622 https://t.co/gPNPdyVYKW— NOAA Fisheries NE/MA (@NOAAFish_GARFO) April 10, 2019
The agency has asked mariners to travel around the area or transit through at 10 knots or less. The right whales are among the rarest large whales, and they number only about 411.
Endangered #RightWhales still in/near #NY shipping lanes south of #Nantucket, #MA. Slow speed zone extended to 4/23: https://t.co/yKned4PPU4 Report sightings: #WhaleAlert https://t.co/cj7yiL280F , 866-755-6622 (ME-VA) & 877-WHALE-HELP(NC-FL) @USCG @PortNYNJ pic.twitter.com/UtYc703Y6e— NOAA Fisheries NE/MA (@NOAAFish_GARFO) April 10, 2019
The whales are vulnerable to ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. They've experienced poor reproduction and high mortality in recent years, putting the population at risk.
A reminder that we share the waters with our reptile friends, so please watch out for and report any entangled or injured sea turtles to our hotline 866-755-6622. More info: https://t.co/xrY9StXJPU Many thanks to our #stranding network partners, like @MarineLifeCtr! https://t.co/wQrKVV8jke— NOAA Fisheries NE/MA (@NOAAFish_GARFO) April 10, 2019
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