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Contact: Wendy Bredow, Acting Chief Ranger, 907-697-2230
Contact: Chris Gabriele, Whale Biologist, 907-697-2664
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Acting Superintendent Tom VandenBerg announced today that the whale waters vessel speed restriction in the middle of Glacier Bay will be lifted beginning 5AM Thursday August 27.The whales that had been using this area have largely moved on to other feeding habitats. Whale waters in lower Glacier Bay remain unchanged.
As shown on the attached map, the designated lower Glacier Bay whale waters include the waters extending from the mouth of Glacier Bay to 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.
Park managers note that there are shifting concentrations of humpback whales elsewhere in Glacier Bay, including in the vicinity of Gloomy Knob, a common wildlife watching area. Boaters are advised to proceed cautiously in all areas where whales may be present because whales may surface in unexpected locations, posing a hazard to both the vessel and the whale.
Vessels are prohibited from operating within ¼ nautical mile of a humpback whale in Park waters, including those Park waters outside Glacier Bay proper. Any vessel inadvertently positioned within ¼ nautical mile of a humpback whale must immediately slow the vessel to 10 knots or less.
Speed and course restrictions in whale waters as authorized by Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Subpart N, 13.1174. Boaters are advised to verify whale waters designations prior to entering Glacier Bay by telephoning (907) 697-2627or by contacting KWM20 Bartlett Cove on marine VHF radio.
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