North Atlantic Right Whales
IT IS ILLEGAL TO BE WITHIN 500 YARDS (1500 FEET) OF A
NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE
State and Federal regulations prohibit approaching a right whale within a 500 yard (1500 ft) buffer zone. Any vessel finding itself within the 500 yard (1500 ft) buffer zone created by a surfacing right whale must depart immediately at a safe, slow speed. The only vessels allowed to remain within 500 yard (1500 ft) of a right whale are vessels with appropriate research permits, commercial fishing vessels in the act of hauling back or towing gear, or any vessel given prior approval by NOAA Fisheries Service to investigate a potential entanglement.
Identifying Right Whales
Right whales have distinguishing characteristics that differentiate them from other species of whale. If you are unable to determine what type of whale surfaces within 500 yards of your boat, your best bet is to slowly and cautiously leave the area and maintain a 500 yard (1500 ft) buffer.
April 21, 2009