Glacier Bay vessels to travel at reduced speeds

GUSTAVUS, Alaska — Vessels operating inside Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska are being required to slow down in order to protect humpback whales from injury.

Park Superintendent Susan Boudreau announced Tuesday that vessels will be restricted to going 13 knots, or about 15 miles per hour, in lower Glacier Bay and at the mouth of the bay. The restrictions will apply to all vessels greater than 18 feet long. Boats also will be restricted to mid-channel travel or being at least a nautical mile offshore.

Park officials say in the last week 17 different humpback whales have been observed feeding in the area.

Humpback whales come to Glacier Bay in the summer to feed on fish. They winter in the Hawaiian Islands.

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