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Slow Down!

Gummint

Slow Down!

So here’s a potential curve ball thrown at potential record seekers and offshore racers. While we think the regulation is a terrific idea, but we’d love to see someone attempt to tell some big rocket in the middle of a record run to slow down! Props to anarchist Sean for the article.

Ships in southeastern Atlantic and mid-Atlantic U.S. waters must slow down to protect endangered right whales starting this week. A landmark regulation going into effect on Dec. 9 will require ships 65 feet or longer to travel at 10 knots or less in certain areas where right whales gather. These new speed restrictions will take effect in waters off New England beginning in January 2009 when whales begin gathering in this area as part of their annual migration. The goal is to reduce the chances ships will collide with whales, injuring or killing them.

With only 300 to 400 in existence, North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered whales in the world. Their slow movements and time spent at the surface and near the coast make right whales highly vulnerable to being struck by ships, especially since shipping lanes into East Coast ports cut across their migration routes. The 10-knot speed restriction will extend out to 20 nautical miles around major mid-Atlantic ports. According to NOAA researchers, about 83 percent of right whale sightings in the mid-Atlantic region occur within 20 nautical miles of shore. The speed restriction also applies in waters off New England and the southeastern U.S., where whales gather seasonally. Read the entire story.