Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the larger Santa
Barbara Channel region hosts an abundance of blue, humpback, fin
and other large migratory whales. This area also supports some
of the busiest vessel traffic in the United States. Unfortunately,
where vessels and whales overlap there is a heightened risk of
ship strike that can cause serious injuries or death to whales.
In 2007, four blue whale fatalities in the Santa Barbara Channel
region were confirmed to be caused by ship strike. Reducing the
risk of ship strike to these endangered whales is a priority issue
for CINMS and NOAA Fisheries.
In this section, you will find information on our efforts to manage,
monitor, research, educate and keep the local community involved,
and to protect large whales when they are in the Sanctuary and
Santa Barbara Channel Region.
KCLU radio piece by Lance Orozco features interviews with CINMS Resource Protection Coordinator Sean Hastings and Environmental Defense Center's Linda Krop, member of the Channel Islands Sanctuary Advisory Council.
Petition to Slow Ships in California
In June 2011 a consortium of environmental organizations
to establish a 10 knot speed limit for vessel greater than 65
feet traveling within Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Faralllones, Montery
Bay, and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuaries.The petition
claims that the requested vessel speed restriction would reduce
or avoid significant threats to marine resources, including protected
species, resulting from vessel traffic in these areas. The petition
also asserts that the requested speed reduction would mitigate
underwater noise pollution and air pollution, including greenhouse
gas emissions, from vessel traffic.
NOAA declined to issue a 10-knot speed
restriction at this time so that we may continue directing our
resources to proceeding with the ongoing development and implementation
of a comprehensive ship strike strategy for the West Coast. This
strategy is detailed in the response and attachment and references
our ongoing outreach, research and monitoring and management measures,
such as the seasonal whale advisory zone.
Petition Response March 2012 pdf
See our "Reports
& Documents" page for more information.
NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Channel Islands Harbor
113 Harbor Way, suite 150, Santa Barbara, CA. 93109
(805) 966-7107 x 472 office