The lingering population of northern right whales is getting a break, reports the Globe’s Beth Daley. Its members often loiter offshore of Massachusetts in shipping lanes — with frequently lethal results. The International Maritime Organization in London is expected to vote later this week, she writes, to move those routes ten miles north and make them narrower. This should take them around most of the slow-moving animals’ feeding area.
This marks the first shipping lane detour in US waters to protect an endangered species, it says here. A similar adjustment is already in place in Canada’s Bay of Fundy. One problem, a shipping source tells Daley, is that while the change may reduce collisions with whales, the closer quarters could bring more chances of collision with other ships.