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Mandatory Ship Reporting System for North Atlantic Right Whales

Collisions with ships are a major source of injury and death of the critically endangered North Altantic right whale. In an effort to reduce the number of ship strikes, NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) developed and implemented Mandatory Ship Reporting Systems. The systems were endorsed by the International Maritime Organization, a specialized organization of the United Nations. The systems became operational in July 1999.

Reporting Requirements

When ships greater than 300 gross tons enter two key right whale habitats--one off the northeast U.S. and one off the southeast U.S.--they are required to report to a shore-based station.


In return, ships receive a message about right whales, their vulnerability to ship strikes, precautionary measures the ship can take to avoid hitting a whale, and locations of recent sightings.


  ATTENTION: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service(NMFS) is conducting a 
  survey of of its North Atlantic Right Whale Mandatory Ship Reporting (MSR) system.

  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:


More Information

Updated: June 26, 2015