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Fundy shipping lanes will change at end of month
Shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy will shift about four nautical miles to east at the end of the month, to avoid potentially deadly collisions between right whales and ships.

BY RICHARD ROIK
Telegraph-Journal
June 25/03

   John Logan says it was simply "the right thing to do," and soon it will mean much better odds for endangered right whales trying to survive their summers in the Bay of Fundy.
   The senior manager at Irving Oil Ltd. said this week even financial costs weren't a consideration when the company became the only industry player to join an unprecedented effort at changing shipping routes to protect the whales.
   The result half a dozen years later is that shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy will shift about four nautical miles to the east at the end of the month - to avoid potentially deadly collisions between the whales and ships.
   "(The cost) isn't insignificant, but it's the right thing to do," Mr. Logan said in estimating about 50 ships come and go from the Irving refinery each month.
   "The ships are going to take a little bit longer to get into port," Mr. Logan said, "and it's possible a few ships will miss a tide and be held over an extra 12 hours. But I think this is a good thing we're doing."
   The change, overseen by the International Maritime Organization, is believed to be the first of its kind for the purpose of preserving wildlife.
   The shift is aimed at the right whales that are drawn each summer to a feeding ground just east of Grand Manan Island.
   By shifting the shipping lanes to a narrower corridor further east, it's estimated the chances of a whale being hit by a vessel will be reduced by 80 per cent.
   While the change has been years in the making, Mr. Logan said there was no "foot dragging." Efforts were first made to see if technology was available to detect the whales in the water, thereby avoiding collisions. When that wasn't an option, the whales were monitored for several summers to make sure there was a consistent pattern to their location.
   Then the new lanes had to be reviewed by various agencies and government bodies.
   All the while, Irving was contributing about $25,000 US annually to the research done by the New England Aquarium.

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