Ships Headed To SF Bay Asked To Slow Down To Avoid Whales

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A blue whale breaches the surface. (NOAA)

A blue whale breaches the surface. (NOAA)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Federal officials are asking large ships to slow down as they approach San Francisco Bay to prevent collisions with whales.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued the advisory Tuesday. It wants large vessels to reduce their speed to 10 knots, or about 11.5 mph, in waters where the whales are evident.

The notice comes as whales are being seen in droves off the Northern California coast. And it follows the discovery at Point Reyes National Seashore last month of a rare fin whale that had been struck and killed by a ship.

Federal officials also have approved a plan to protect whales in the Bay area by better tracking them and rerouting ships. The plan likely will take effect next year.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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