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Reducing Ship Strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales

Vessel Speed Restrictions

All vessels 65 feet (19.8 m) or longer must travel at 10 knots or less in certain locations [pdf] along the U.S. east coast at certain times of the year to reduce the threat of ship collisions with critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.

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Where are right whales?

Vessel Routing

Mandatory Ship Reporting systems

ATTENTION : The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is conducting a survey of its North Atlantic Right Whale Mandatory Ship Reporting (MSR) system (information about the system and its requirements can be found here:

The purpose of the survey is to evaluate and improve the MSR program – and mariner feedback is needed.  If you are a mariner operating or working on a vessel 300gt or greater on the east coast of the United States, or who has operated in this area in the past, NMFS is seeking your input.  The survey consists of 9 questions, and also allows for additional comments.  Completing the survey is expected to take less than 10 minutes.  The survey is voluntary and all responses are anonymous and confidential.  To take the survey, log on to:

Petition to Exclude Areas from Vessel Speed Restrictions

We received a petition to exclude from vessel speed restrictions Federally-maintained dredged entrance channels and pilot boarding areas for ports from New York to Jacksonville.

More Information



Right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) skim feeding with Delaware II in the background. Credit: Lisa Conger, NOAA/NEFSC
Right Whale photos and videos

Updated: August 3, 2015