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Coast Guard Studies Whale Safety In San Francisco Bay

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A Dead Gray Whale Near The Golden Gate Bridge April 22, 2000. (David Mcnew/Getty Images)

A Dead Gray Whale Near The Golden Gate Bridge April 22, 2000. (David Mcnew/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Coast Guard is looking at ways to avoid contact between large shipping vessels in and around the San Francisco Bay and whales.

Since July, five whales have been killed after being hit by ships. There were no such reported incidents last year.

The coasts along Northern California have seen a larger than normal amount of whales this year due to a high abundance of krill in the waters. Krill is the main source of food for whales.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Jackie Dragon, the Marine Sanctuaries Program Director for the nonprofit Pacific Environment, said that this has become a serious issue.

“Whales have a much better outcome and opportunity to avoid serious injury or death by ‘ships drag’ when ships are traveling slower in the waters, say ten knots,” said Dragon. “This is something that’s been implemented on the East Coast to protect the endangered right whale.”

Shipping companies said a change in shipping lanes could present a navigation hazard, but haven’t ruled it out.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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