Slow down for right whales


On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) passed a ruling for all ships 65 feet or longer to travel at speeds of 10 knots (about 11.5 miles per hour) or slower in seasonal management areas (SMAs). Vessels smaller than 65 feet are not mandated to travel at these speeds in a SMA, but NOAA encourages it. The rule was made to protect the North Atlantic right whales swimming in these areas from being struck by vessels. Right whales are an endangered species, according to NOAA, and these accidents can lead to some of the animals’ deaths. Some have been detected in Martha’s Vineyard’s southwestern waters, making these part of the management area. More slow zones may be implemented based on sightings of whales. 

More information about the slow zones can be found at