Subject: Right Whale:Navy keeping waters safer fo (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Tue, 4 Feb 1997 11:11:54 -0500 (EST)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon,  3 Feb 97 13:53:00 GMT 
Subject: Navy keeping waters safer fo

Navy keeping waters safer for endangered whales
February 1, 1997
Web posted at: 3:15 p.m. EST (2015 GMT)

 From Correspondent David Mattingly

 JACKSONVILLE, Florida (CNN) -- Just 70 years ago, seeing a Northern right
whale would not have raised much excitement.

 At one time, it's believed as many as 10,000 Northern right whales swam along
the Atlantic coast. Unfortunately for the whales, however, the mammals were
slow swimmers. They became a favorite target of whalers, while earning their
name as the "right" whale to kill.

 Today, there are only 350 Northern right whales left.

 Protected as an endangered species, the whales are no longer hunted, but in
the warm waters off Jacksonville, boats still pursue them.

 This year's pursuit, however, is part of a series of special maneuvers backed
by the whales' powerful new ally -- the U.S. Navy.
  Navy to help keep waters safer for whales

 "I think there's a lot of pride there, because we're certainly sensitive to
endangered species," said Adm. Kevin Delaney.

 Working with civilian scientists and environmental officials, the Navy is out
to protect the right whale from the modern danger of ship collisions.

 "We have a policy that immediately upon sighting a whale, our ships slow down
and they are to avoid these whales at 500- yard separations," said Stan Labak
of Marine Acoustics.

 The Mayport Naval Station shares waters with the whales' winter calving areas.
In the past, some whales have washed ashore after being hit and killed by large
ships. The goal of this mission is to learn how to avoid these kinds of

 The Navy supplies high-tech listening and infrared devices normally used to
hunt submarines, to identify and locate the whales.

 Last year, the bodies of six right whales were discovered throughout the
Navy's range. Of the six, only two were found to have been killed in collisions
with ships.

 The Navy hopes to teach its personnel how to make America's waters as safe for
whales as it does for its citizens.