Mariners' Advisory Committee
for the Bay & River Delaware
Posted   10-17-2018 17:43    
MSIB 38-18

The Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay advises all vessels transiting the Mid-Atlantic Ocean that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has established regulations to implement a 10-knot speed restriction for all vessels 65 ft (19.8 m) or longer in certain locations along the east coast of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard at certain times of the year. These regulations are designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales by reducing the likelihood of collisions between ships and whales.

The 10-knot speed restriction will extend out to 20 nautical miles around major mid-Atlantic ports. According to NOAA researchers, about 83 percent of right whale sightings in the mid-Atlantic region occur within 20 nautical miles of shore. The speed restriction also applies in waters off New England and the southeastern U.S., where whales gather seasonally.

The speed restrictions apply in the following approximate locations at the following times; they are based on times whales are known to be in these areas:
- Southeastern U.S. from St. Augustine, FL. to Brunswick, GA from November 15 to April 15
- Mid-Atlantic U.S. areas from Brunswick, GA to Rhode Island from November 1 to April 30
- Cape Cod Bay from January 1 to May 15
- Off Race Point at northern end of Cape Cod from March 1 to April 30
- Great South Channel of New England from April 1 to July 31

Specifically for vessels entering the Delaware Bay, the restriction applies in the following location: Within a 20-nm (37 km) radius (as measured seaward from COLREGS lines) of the center point of the entrance to the Delaware Bay (Ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington): 38°52′27.4″ N–075°01′32.1″ W.

For more information about the speed restriction please visit the NOAA website or call Sector Delaware Bay Waterways Management Branch at (215) 271-4889.

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay

This release has been issued for public information and notification purposes only.
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