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New Protection Zones to Help Rare Whales Off East Coast

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Lisa Conger and Elizabeth Josephson/NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

The federal government is using a pair of protective zones to try to assist large aggregations of rare whales off the East Coast.

The zones are voluntary speed restriction zones designed to protect North Atlantic right whales. One is 26 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, where a group of 33 right whales was spotted on Dec. 15. The other is 12 miles southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, where four of the whales were seen on Dec. 14.

The two groups represent nearly 10 percent of the remaining population of the whales. Mariners in the zones are asked to route around it or transit through at 10 knots or less.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the whales are migrating south on the East Coast.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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