SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Federal maritime officials have approved a plan to protect whales in and around San Francisco Bay after seeing an uptick in the number of collisions between the marine mammals and large ships.

There have been many victims of such accidents in recent years as the number of blue, fin and humpback whales surged along the California coast, lured by plentiful krill, the shrimp-like organisms they eat. All three species are endangered.

The new plan will reroute shipping traffic at one of the world’s busiest ports, and establish better ways to track whale locations.

The changes crafted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shipping industry representatives, whale researchers and the Coast Guard will likely take effect next year, after a review by the United Nations International Maritime Organization.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)


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