1060 - 09/15 - North Atlantic Right Whales - USA

Further to our Bulletin 855 we would like to remind our Members of the speed restrictions which exist off the US coast.

The speed restrictions are in place as an attempt to reduce the number of ship strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales.

Mariners are advised to avoid these areas or reduce speeds to 10 knots or less while transiting there.

The areas and periods for which the speed restrictions apply are specified in 50 CFR 224.105.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a vessel may operate at a speed necessary to maintain safe manoeuvring speed instead of the required ten knots only if justified because the vessel is in an area where oceanographic, hydrographic and/or meteorological conditions severely restrict the manoeuvrability of the vessel and the need to operate at such speed is confirmed by the pilot on board or, when a vessel is not carrying a pilot, the master of the vessel. If a deviation from the ten-knot speed limit is necessary, the reasons for the deviation, the speed at which the vessel is operated, the latitude and longitude of the area, and the time and duration of such deviation shall be entered into the logbook of the vessel. The master of the vessel shall attest to the accuracy of the logbook entry by signing and dating it.

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