UPDATED: Right Whale Slow Zone Extended off Ocean City Through April 10

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UPDATED – 04/02/24 – The voluntary right whale slow zone off the coast of Ocean City has been extended after the Ocean City buoy operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science re-detected the presence of right whales east of Ocean City. The slow zone is in effect through April 10th.

VOLUNTARY Right Whale “Slow Zone” AREAS

Mariners are requested to avoid or transit at 10 knots or less inside the areas where persistent aggregations of right whales have been detected. Please visit the NOAA Fisheries website for more information.

East of Ocean City, MD Acoustic Slow Zone: March 26 – April 10, 2024
Waters bounded by:
NORTHERN BOUNDARY: 38°38′ N
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°58′ N
EASTERN BOUNDARY: 74°13′ W
WESTERN BOUNDARY: 75°04′ W

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UPDATED – 03/15/24 – Another extension of the voluntary right whale slow zone after the Ocean City buoy re-detected the presence of right whales east of Ocean City on Thursday. The slow zone means that all boaters must slow to 10 knots or less for right whales – or avoid the area. The slow zone is now in effect through March 29th. There are two additional slow zones currently in effect – one southeast New York and the other Southwest Nantucket.

VOLUNTARY Right Whale “Slow Zone” AREAS

Mariners are requested to avoid or transit at 10 knots or less inside the areas where persistent aggregations of right whales have been detected. Please visit the NOAA Fisheries website for more information.

East of Ocean City, MD Acoustic Slow Zone: March 15 – March 29, 2024
Waters bounded by:
NORTHERN BOUNDARY: 38°38′ N
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°58′ N
EASTERN BOUNDARY: 74°13′ W
WESTERN BOUNDARY: 75°04′ W

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UPDATED – 02/16/24 – The voluntary right whale slow zone has been extended. On Thursday the Ocean City buoy operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science re-detected the presence of right whales east of Ocean City. The slow zone is now in effect through March 1st. There are currently 10 slow zones in effect along the East Coast. Locations and effective dates are shown in the image. 

VOLUNTARY Right Whale “Slow Zone” AREAS

Mariners are requested to avoid or transit at 10 knots or less inside the areas where persistent aggregations of right whales have been detected. Please visit the NOAA Fisheries website for more information.

East of Ocean City, MD Acoustic Slow Zone: February 15 – March 1, 2024
Waters bounded by:
NORTHERN BOUNDARY: 38°38′ N
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°58′ N
EASTERN BOUNDARY: 74°13′ W
WESTERN BOUNDARY: 75°04′ W

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UPDATED – 1/29/24 – NOAA Fisheries announced two new voluntary right whale Slow Zones and the extension of a current Slow Zone.

On January 24, 2024, the Azura mid-Atlantic aerial survey team detected the presence of right whales south of Ocean City, Maryland. The two right whale Slow Zones are in effect through February 8, 2024.

Also, on January 24, 2024, the Ocean City buoy operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science redetected the presence of right whales east of Ocean City, Maryland. The slow zone is in effect through February 8.

As a reminder, five additional Slow Zones are currently in effect. Locations and effective dates are shown in the image below. 

VOLUNTARY Right Whale “Slow Zone” AREAS

Mariners are requested to avoid or transit at 10 knots or less inside the areas where persistent aggregations of right whales have been detected. Please visit the NOAA Fisheries website for more information.

South of Ocean City, MD DMA Slow Zone: Effective January 24-February 8, 2024
Waters bounded by:
NORTHERN BOUNDARY: 38°10′ N
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°29′ N
EASTERN BOUNDARY: 74°34′ W
WESTERN BOUNDARY: 75°24′ W

South of Ocean City, MD #2 DMA Slow Zone: Effective January 24-February 8, 2024
Waters bounded by:
NORTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°56′ N
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°16′ N
EASTERN BOUNDARY: 74°55′ W
WESTERN BOUNDARY: 75°45′ W

East of Ocean City, MD Acoustic Slow Zone: January 24-February 8, 2024
Waters bounded by:
NORTHERN BOUNDARY: 38°38′ N
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°58′ N
EASTERN BOUNDARY: 74°13′ W
WESTERN BOUNDARY: 75°04′ W

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UPDATED – 01/02/24 – NOAA Fisheries announced the extension of a voluntary right whale Slow Zone (acoustic trigger). On December 24, 2023, the Ocean City buoy operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science re-detected the presence of right whales east of Ocean City, Maryland. The right whale Slow Zone is in effect through January 8, 2023. 

As a reminder, one additional Slow Zone is currently in effect. Locations and effective dates are shown in the image below. 

VOLUNTARY Right Whale “Slow Zone” AREAS

Mariners are requested to avoid or transit at 10 knots or less inside the areas where persistent aggregations of right whales have been detected. Please visit the NOAA Fisheries website for more information.

East of Ocean City, MD Acoustic Slow Zone: December 24-January 8, 2023

Waters bounded by:

NORTHERN BOUNDARY: 38°38′ N
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°58′ N
EASTERN BOUNDARY: 74°13′ W
WESTERN BOUNDARY: 75°04′ W

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UPDATED – 12/04/23 – NOAA Fisheries announced the extension of a voluntary right whale Slow Zone (acoustic trigger). On December 3, 2023, the Ocean City buoy operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science re-detected the presence of right whales east of Ocean City, Maryland. The right whale Slow Zone is in effect through December 18, 2023. 

As a reminder, four additional Slow Zones are currently in effect. Locations and effective dates are shown in the image below. 

VOLUNTARY Right Whale “Slow Zone” AREAS

Mariners are requested to avoid or transit at 10 knots or less inside the areas where persistent aggregations of right whales have been detected. Please visit the NOAA Fisheries website for more information.

East of Ocean City, MD Acoustic Slow Zone: Effective December 3-18, 2023

Waters bounded by:
NORTHERN BOUNDARY: 38°38′ N
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY: 37°58′ N
EASTERN BOUNDARY: 74°13′ W
WESTERN BOUNDARY: 75°04′ W

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ORIGINAL STORY – 11/21/23 — The Ocean City buoy operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science on Monday detected the presence of right whales east of Ocean City. A right whale slow zone is now in effect through December 5th.

There are five other slow zones in effect along the East Coast.

Mariners are requested to avoid or transit at 10 knots or less inside these areas where right whales have been detected.

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