Shipping lane changes to protect blue whales off California coast
By The Los Angeles Times
Published: Friday, December 28, 2012, 8:18 p.m.
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012
Shipping lanes along the California coast — the oceanic superhighways for Asian goods coming to America — are poised to be rerouted in order to protect endangered whales from collisions.
The International Maritime Organization, which governs global shipping, has approved three proposals that would shift one lane through the Santa Barbara Channel and the approaches to the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex and ports located in San Francisco Bay.
The route adjustments were recommended by the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after four blue whales were thought to have been killed by ship strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel in 2007 and an additional five whales were suspected ship-strike victims off the Central and Northern California coast in 2010.
The shipping industry has supported the modest lane changes, which shift the southbound lane 1.2 miles away from Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands. The current route traverses a steep underwater drop-off just north of these islands — an area where blue whales congregate to feast on krill.
“We all agreed if we could move the lane a little bit away from the islands, it could reduce the risk to the blue whales,” Chris Mobley, superintendent of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, said in announcing the changes on Thursday.
- Mistrial declared in fatal shooting
- 3 accused of enslaving mother, girl in Ohio
- Tornado dances safely by airport
- Man claims to be target of probe into Steubenville hack
- NSA chief: Snooping uncovered 50 plots
- Google challenges gag orders
- Centuries-old beam could hint at wreck
- News Alert
- Capitol Hill cooperation allows congressman to breathe easier
- 2-year-old who lost legs in accident takes to prosthetics
- Fight for gun control not over, Biden says
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.