Large vessels traveling to ports on the California coast will begin using new traffic lanes on Saturday that were developed to protect endangered whales from ship collisions.
The California Coastal Commission has rejected a Navy explosives and sonar training program that critics said could harm endangered blue whales and other sea life.
The International Maritime Organization has approved vessel lane changes on approaches to San Francisco Bay and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and in the Santa Barbara Channel. The changes take effect next year.
Federal officials are asking large ships to slow down as they approach San Francisco Bay to prevent collisions with whales.
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.
Blue whales, the world’s largest animal, are being seen in droves off the Northern California coast.
Boaters are being warned that humpback and blue whales are starting to appear in the waters outside San Francisco and have been sighted in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
The U.S. Navy says its training and testing using sonar and explosives could potentially hurt more dolphins and whales in Hawaii and California waters than previously thought.
A specially trained team of disentanglement experts searched the waters off the Monterey County coast Thursday for a gray whale spotted earlier in the week caught up on fishing nets.
A whale that went missing during rescue attempts last week to free it from a large fishing line has been spotted off the coast of Monterey County.