NOAA adds more slow zones to try to protect rare whales

AP National News

FILE – In this Aug. 6, 2017, file photo, provided by NOAA Fisheries a North Pacific right whale swims in the Bering Sea west of Bristol Bay. Federal scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have recorded singing by a rare right whale for the first time. Researchers used moored acoustic recorders to capture patterned calls made by male North Pacific right whales. Researchers detected four distinct songs over eight years at five locations in the southeast Bering Sea. (NOAA Fisheries via AP, File)

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — The federal government has added two new “slow zones” to try to protect vulnerable whales from ship strikes.

The zones are located off New York City and Nantucket, Massachusetts, and they’re designed to protect North Atlantic right whales. The whales number only about 360 and they are vulnerable to collisions with ships.

Mariners in the slow zones are asked to travel slowly or avoid the areas altogether. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said right whales have been detected in the areas.

The two new zones bring the total number of slow zones to protect the whales to six.

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