^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ J. Michael Williamson Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <http://whale.wheelock.edu> 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 From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 collisions. 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.