Ships Ignore Voluntary Speed Zone Designed to Protect Endangered Right Whales | Oceana USA

An Oceana analysis found ships ignoring a voluntary speed zone in an area south of Nantucket designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only about 400 remain. Between January 22 and March 6, 2020, more than 41% of the 446 ships in the area exceeded the voluntary speed limit of 10 knots, which was established by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to reduce the risk of injury and death to these whales.

Studies have found that the speed of a ship is a major factor in ship-related collisions with North Atlantic right whales and that slowing ship speeds to less than 10 knots in areas where these whales may be encountered can reduce the risk of collisions by 86%.