Ship traffic off the California coast will be re-routed to protect endangered whales from ship strikes.
The International Maritime Organization has approved vessel lane changes on approaches to San Francisco Bay and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and in the Santa Barbara Channel. The changes take effect next year.
The lane modifications were crafted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard with support from the shipping industry.
Migrating blue, fin and humpback whales are prone to ship strikes. In 2010, five whales died from ship collisions in the San Francisco area and along the north-central California coast.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)