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Mariners urged to be careful off SC coast during right whale calving season in Southeast

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina — North Atlantic right whales are returning to the Southeast for calving season and federal and state officials in three states are urging mariners to use caution.

The season off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida runs from mid-November through mid-April.

Right whales are one of the most endangered marine mammals, with only an estimated 450 left in the world. Each year, they travel from feeding grounds off Canada and New England to warmer coastal waters.

Federal law requires that large ships of more than 65 feet or more slow to 10 knots in calving areas. And watercraft and planes are prohibited from approaching or remaining within 500 yards of the whales.

Last year 52 right whales, including 10 calves, were documented off the Southeast coast.

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