Southern resident killer whales were observed on July 1 near San Juan Island, within the slowdown area. The return of these endangered whales to the Salish Sea signals the start of the ECHO Program’s voluntary slowdown in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass for 2020, effective Wednesday, July 1. Upon your next transit through the slowdown area, please slow to the following speed through the water targets:
- 14.5 knots or less through the water for vehicle carriers, cruise ships and container vessels
- 11.5 knots or less through the water for bulkers, tankers, ferries and government vessels
The goal is for more than 85% of ships to participate in this year’s slowdown in an effort to reduce underwater noise for southern resident killer whales. The voluntary slowdown will end on October 1, 2020, unless the southern resident killer whales have not yet left the area. If they are still present in the area, the slowdown may continue until October 31.