Stop commercial ships from killing whales by helping set speed limits in our marine sanctuaries. California's sanctuaries are home to some of the nation's richest ocean habitat, as well as some of the most heavily trafficked shipping lands. In the past 10 years, more whales are showing up along California's coast to feast in these rich waters; but sadly this also puts them in harm's way -- right in the shipping path to busy ports.
Collisions with vessels are a primary threat to endangered Pacific-coast populations of fin, humpback, blue, sperm and killer whales. Ship strikes are an increasing problem in California, where, since 2001, nearly 50 whales have been documented injured or killed by ships.
The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the marine sanctuaries to impose a mandatory speed limit of 10 knots to protect whales from ship strikes while traveling through these special area. Please urge California's marine sanctuaries to slow ships and save whales.
I urge you to establish a mandatory 10-knot speed limit for commercial vessels traveling through California's national marine sanctuaries. Large whales and other marine mammals must be able to travel through these important marine areas without being killed by speeding ships.
Our marine sanctuaries are supposed to be a refuge for protecting the ocean's biodiversity. Shipping lanes cutting through these areas pose a serious threat to endangered whales struggling to pull back from the brink of extinction. Speed limits will have many benefits beyond preventing whales from being killed; they also reduce noise and greenhouse gas pollution.
Our sanctuaries are special. Please act now to impose speed limits and take other measures that will protect whales as they swim through California's sanctuaries.
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