Kerry introduces bill aims at protecting right whales
Sen. John Kerry has introduced a bill will require ships traveling in certain waters on the U.S. East Coast to reduce speed in order to help protect the North Atlantic right whales from injury and death due to ship strikes.
Kerry introduced his bill saying that similar protections proposed by the National Marine Fisheries last year have not been implemented.
Kerry’s “Ship Strike Reduction Act of 2008” would require the Bush Administration to finalize a rule establishing speed limits for specified vessels in migratory paths of North Atlantic right whales.
The Massachusetts Democrat complained that a federal rule enforcing the speed limits, known as the Ship Strike Rule, was first proposed in February, 2007, but “has been buried in the regulatory process for over a year.”
The proposed rule calls for reductions in speed limits to 10 knots for boats at least 65 feet long and traveling in certain areas during periods when whales are migrating.
Kerry’s office said less than 350 North Atlantic right whales exist today, making them one of the rarest whales in the world.