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Soundings Archive

CBD Petitions NMFS for Speed Limits to Protect Blue Whales
On September 25, 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service "to set marine vessel speed limits in the Santa Barbara Channel off California to prevent further mortality resulting from ship strikes to endangered blue whales." The NMFS petition claims ship speed limits are necessary to protect the whales from fatal ship strikes.

In support of their petition, CBD claims that "at least three blue whales have been documented killed as a result of ship strikes in this area within the past two weeks." The petition further claims that the ship strikes constitute a threat to the recovery of blue whales, which are listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

The petition asks NMFS to use its authority under the ESA and the Marine Mammal Protection Act to set a speed limit of 10 nautical miles per hour in the Santa Barbara Channel for all vessels 65 feet or longer until the whales have left the channel.

  • Click here to read CBD press release and petition

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