Coast Guard cautions mariners transiting through Santa Barbara Channel

San Pedro, Calif. – The Coast Guard is advising mariners transiting through the Santa Barbara Channel off the coast of southern California to be alert and aware of blue whales feeding in the channel and shipping lanes.

The National Marine Fisheries Service reports that blue whales are currently distributed throughout southern California waters. The whales are expected to be present in feeding groups through the middle of November.

“Mariners should exercise caution, keep a sharp look out, and operate at a safe speed when traveling through the Santa Barbara Channel and in and out of LA and Long Beach harbors.” said Lt. Cmdr. Peter Gooding, Chief of the Waterways Management Division for Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach.

Since Sept. 8, three dead whales have been found off of the coast. Blue whales are an endangered species and protected under federal and international law.

Collisions with whales or sightings of dead floating whales should be reported to the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at (562) 980-4017 or U.S. Coast Guard.

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