Los Angeles • Ship traffic off the California coast will be re-routed under new rules designed to protect slow-moving endangered whales from ship collisions.
The International Maritime Organization has approved vessel lane changes on approaches to San Francisco Bay and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and in the Santa Barbara Channel. The changes take effect next year after the Coast Guard goes through the rule-making process.
Migrating blue, fin and humpback whales are prone to ship strikes since they are often lured to the California shoreline by plentiful krill. All three species are endangered. There are believed to be about 2,000 blue whales, 2,000 fin whales and 2,500 humpbacks in the northeast Pacific.