Ships urged to slow down for whales outside SF Bay

by The Associated Press
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Blue whale (AP Photo).

Blue whale (AP Photo).

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) – The Coast Guard is asking large ships off the Northern California coast to slow down to avoid collisions with endangered whales feasting on an abundance of krill around the Farallon Islands.

The agency is advising the vessels to approach and exit San Francisco Bay at no more than 10 knots, which is about half their normal speed, and watch for large whales around two marine sanctuaries.

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports about 20 large ships cross the sanctuaries a day.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration requested the slowdown broadcast after its biologists counted a remarkable concentration of humpback, blue, gray and fin whales off the Farallon Islands.

Mariners say the whales are feeding on a swarm of krill.

The Coast Guard message is scheduled to continue until Friday.

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