Thursday, December 26, 2013

Countdown to 2014 | 6. A victory for right whales

We're blazing toward the New Year, so it's about time that we look back on the amazing year that was 2013. The Aquarium celebrated some unbelievable moments—some much touted and others quieter. But they're all part of what makes the Aquarium so special.

Today we're continuing the countdown of the 10 most exciting, cutest, noteworthy and/or memorable ways that 2013 is one year that we won't forget. 

6. A victory for right whale conservation

The Aquarium has a long-standing right whale research program. Earlier this month the researchers celebrated an important victory in the protection of these critically endangered marine mammals: the elimination of the sunset clause in the ship speed reduction rule. This means that regulations that limited ship speeds in areas frequented by right whales will never expire!

Ship strikes are a major threat to right whales up and down the East Coast. But dropping speeds in these sensitive areas were predicted to reduce the probability of fatal ship strikes of right whales by a whopping 80-90%! And it's proven to have made a difference: "no right whale ship strike deaths have occurred in Seasonal Management Areas since the rule went into place" (from NOAA). These measure had been set to expire in December 2013—but not now!

Previously in the Countdown to 2014:
10. The goosefish and her egg veils  
9. Three new IMAX films for the year  
8. Jaw-dropping slow motion video  
7. A rescued seal pup arrives for the holidays

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