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New Study Finds 80% of Ships Violated Speed Limit, Threatening Sea Mammals

New Study Finds 80% of Ships Violated Speed Limit, Threatening Sea Mammals

By Vince Conti

A new study finds that 80% of ships violated federal speed limits in areas where sea mammals have been harmed and killed by ship strikes.
Right whales are endangered. Pictured are southern right whales
wildestanimal/Shutterstock.com
A new study finds that 80% of ships violated federal speed limits in areas where sea mammals have been harmed and killed by ship strikes.

Oceana, an international organization dedicated to ocean conservation, has released a new study that found that 80% of ships violated federal speed limits in areas where sea mammals have been harmed and killed by ship strikes.

The organization is asking the federal government to immediately issue updates on vessel speed rules to protect North Atlantic right whales. Oceana is also calling for speed limits to be fully enforced.

The study, released Jan. 12, feeds into debates on the major causes of sea mammal fatalities, on what the connection is between preconstruction activity by offshore wind energy companies on the one hand and increased strikes by ships on the other.

Protect Our Coast New Jersey, a statewide organization, has called for opposition to the Atlantic Shores wind farm project because it claims there is “mounting evidence that previous survey work done on behalf of the offshore wind industry caused injury and death to hundreds of whales and dolphins over a seven-year period from 2016-2023.”

As that debate continues, Ocean City, Maryland, will be the site of a congressional hearing on Saturday, Jan. 20, “examining the effects offshore wind industrialization is having on our environment, marine life and economy.”

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2nd) will participate in the hearing, which will be livestreamed; details on the livestream have not yet been provided. This story will be updated with those details as soon as they are available.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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