TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Shipping lane changes to protect blue whales off California coast

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Los Angeles Times
Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, 8:18 p.m.
 

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.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Navy developing robotic fish drone
  2. Smoking, drinking falls off among teens, but not drug use
  3. Gettysburg national park poised to expand by 45 acres
  4. West Virginia man dies after being shot with arrow in Wellsburg
  5. EPA tabs $3.1M to curb algae in Lake Erie
  6. Harvard study bolsters link between pollution, autism
  7. Sen. McConnell wants to stop coal rules
  8. $1.5B more a year — from fees tacked onto phone bills — earmarked for faster Internet
  9. Lawmakers won’t toast to powdered alcohol
  10. New York move to ban fracking heartens critics
  11. Casey, Toomey prod FCC to clear Comcast, Time Warner deal
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.