Vessels charged with violating whale safety law

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Three large commercial vessels who were assessed civil penalties last fall for violating seasonal speed limits designed to protect one of the most endangered whale species in the world have paid their penalties in full. Cases against six other vessels for the same offense are still open.

The ship strike reduction rule, enacted in December 2008, restricts vessels of 65 feet or greater to speeds of 10 knots or less in seasonal management areas along the East Coast to reduce the chances of North Atlantic right whales being injured or killed by ships.

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