Environmental News

Boating Warning Issued As Endangered Whales Gather Near San Francisco

Boaters in San Francisco have been warned to take precautions as large numbers of whales have been spotted gathering off the coast of San Francisco, San Jose Mercury News reports.

Thus far, 115 humpback, blue and fin whales have already been sighted and recorded within a mere hour of survey. Subsequently, the risk of vessels striking whales in the area is thought to be high.

Boaters and fishermen are urged to keep a respectful distance from whales with 300 feet recommended as the standard minimum distance.

The mass population of whales frolicking in the area is thought to be due to an excess of krill, the dietary staple of the whale. As well as krill, schools of anchovies are also present in the area.

Maria Brown, superintendent of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, was quoted by CBS Sacramento as having said that boaters should respect “minimum distances” while operating their vessels.

We are alerting small boaters and large vessel operators to be on the alert for endangered whales, and to maintain minimum distances.

Ships have also been advised to slow their speeds to 10 knots as they approach San Francisco in order to minimize the risks to various whale species with whom they’re presently sharing the waters off the coast of SF.

Whales are legally protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and humpback, blue and fin whales, which are populating the area in droves, are further protected as endangered species.

Locals and boaters alike are advised to keep an eye out for whales, which could be hit by boats or beached, and to report any dangerous activity to authorities.

Earlier this week, a humpback whale was entangled in rope and attacked by a great white shark at Stellwagen Bank, Massachusetts and a 12-foot minke whale was found dead on Long Island Beach. Although conclusive proof is presently unavailable, the cause of death is thought to be shark attack.

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