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Posted at 11:03 AM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Slow down: whales crossing

By Mary Pat Flaherty

Federal authorities are handing out speeding tickets to large commercial ships that exceed a new 10-knot limit aimed at protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale, according to a story in The Virginian-Pilot.

About 350 of the whales are believed to exist currently, the paper reported, and because they are slow, they are vulnerable as they cross navigational channels.

According to the newspaper:

The speed limit applies to commercial ships over 65 feet long that travel within 20 nautical miles of a port. In the mid-Atlantic, it's in effect from Rhode Island to Georgia from Nov. 1 to April 30.

Six vessels have been cited for a total 42 violations in the last year totaling $230,500 in fines.

And who is the crossing guard for whales? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through its Office of Law Enforcement.

By Mary Pat Flaherty  | January 7, 2011; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  Animal Stories, Mary Pat Flaherty, Virginia  
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Just a reminder that NOAA is one of the seven recognized branches of the military. Really.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | January 7, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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