07/24/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/24/2021 14:28
Contact: Jarred Mitrea, 907-697-2230
BARTLETT COVE, ALASKA - Today, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Deputy Superintendent Tom Schaff announced a 13-knot speed limit in the Lower Glacier Bay whale waters to protect at least 17 humpback whales feeding there. This change will go into effect beginning at 5:00 AM Sunday, July 25th.
As shown on the attached map, the designated Lower Bay whale waters includes all waters between the mouth of Glacier Bay and a line drawn between the northern tip of Strawberry Island and the northern tip of Lars Island. This boundary is shown on NOAA nautical charts of Glacier Bay. From May 15th- September 30th annually, all vessels are required to remain one-mile from shore or mid-channel in the designated area. This announcement reduces the speed limit in the Lower Bay whale waters from 20 knots to 13 knots.
In addition, the East Arm Entrance whale waters implemented on July 10th remain in effect. All vessels are required to adhere to a 13-knot speed limit in all waters within a triangle defined by Muir Point, the point of land 1 mile west of Tlingit Point and the point of land at the south entrance to South Sandy Cove.
Throughout Glacier Bay, vessel operators should keep a sharp lookout and reduce speed when necessary. There are smaller concentrations of whales outside of the whale waters areas. Vessels are prohibited from operating within ¼ nautical mile of a humpback whale in Park waters and are required to reduce speed if they find themselves within ¼ nautical mile of a whale. Speed and course restrictions in whale waters are intended to reduce whale disturbance and lower the risk of whale/vessel collisions, as authorized by Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Subpart N, 13.1174. Mariners are advised to verify whale waters designations prior to entering Glacier Bay by calling (907) 697-2627 or by contacting KWM20 Bartlett Cove on marine VHF radio.