Shipping Lanes Re-Routed for Endangered Whales Off California
The International Maritime Organization has approved shipping lane changes on approaches to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Santa Barbara Channel, and to San Francisco Bay to protect endangered whales from ship collisions.
Five whales died in ship accidents in 2010 outside the San Francisco Bay. After approved lane modifications, three lanes will be extended on the approach. This will limit whale and cargo collisions.
In 2007, four blue whales were killed in the Santa Barbara Channel. To prevent accidents, a southbound lane will be shifted and other lanes will be narrowed. Similar changes will be implemented for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The changes will take place next year after the U.S. Coast Guard reviews the rulemaking course.
The NOAA is also helping with the lane changes. According to the agency, Massachusetts saw a decrease in whale strikes after lane changes were made five years ago. They hope to see the same effect in California.