The federal government is expanding a protected zone off of New England to attempt to protect endangered right whales.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a voluntary speed restriction zone it established off of Nantucket has been extended through March 17. The zone is designed to protect a group of 10 of the whales that was seen in the area on March 1.
There are only a little more than 400 of the whales left. NOAA is asking mariners to route around the area south of Nantucket altogether or transit through it at 10 knots or less.
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NOAA also uses mandatory speed restriction areas to protect the whales in Cape Cod Bay, the mid-Atlantic and off of the southeastern states.