I have been on a few whale watches over the years. It is unbelievably thrilling to see those magnificent creatures rise up out of the ocean — and scary to think of threats to their continued existence. (I have heard that too many whale watches, though well-intentioned, are becoming a threat, too.)
Among the efforts being made to protect whales, there’s one that ordinary boaters can do: Go slow.
Colin A. Young writes in the Boston Globe about two sightings of North Atlantic right whales over the weekend. “Authorities are warning boaters to keep an eye out for the endangered marine mammals.
“On Friday, three whales were spotted off Scituate. On Sunday, three of the whales were observed off Nantasket Beach in Hull. Officials were not sure if it was the same set of animals.
“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries service established a ‘voluntary vessel speed restriction zone’ in waters off the Boston area. Mariners are urged to either avoid the area or keep their speed lower than 10 knots while traveling through the zone. The restricted zone is in effect until April 27.” More here.
Defenders of Wildlife offers information on North Atlantic right whales here.
Photograph: Brian Skerry, National Geographic