news Egyptian Dive Vessel Debuts The Red Sea is noted as one of the finest dive destinations in the world. Many visit Egypt's coastal resorts and hire boats to take them to nearby reefs. With the launching of the 39 by 8.6-m M/S Royal Evolution the area that is open to divers has been significantly increased. With a 2000 nautical mile cruising range and licensed to operate up to 600 miles from refuge, the new BV-classed SOLAS compliant vessel can take visitors to some of the best dive spots in the region. Powered by a pair of 1100 hp Cummins KTA38 M1 main engines the boat has a 14-knot maximum speed and 12-knot cruising speed. Accommodation is provided for 24 passengers and 16 crewmembers. For dive support, scuba and nitrox filling stations are provided along with individual dive lockers for the 24 guests and four guides. For more information visit www.royalevolution.com NOAA Recommends New East Coast Ship Traffic Routes NOAA urged ship captains to use new recommended routes when entering or leaving the Florida ports of Jacksonville and Fernandina, and Brunswick, Ga., as well as in Cape Cod Bay off Massachusetts. These new routes are expected to reduce the chances of ship strikes with endangered right whales. The recommended routes take into account safety and economic impact to the mariner. Although the routes are voluntary, they will appear on both electronic and paper NOAA nautical charts. The new designations will help mariners decrease whale strikes by reducing vessel activity in areas frequented by ships and whales. "This is an important part of our ship strike reduction strategy for critically endangered right whales," said Dr. Bill Hogarth, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries Service. "Mariners need to be aware of these voluntary routes before the winter calving season when pregnant females and females with calves migrate to waters off of Florida and Georgia. With a population so low, even one whale death can set back recovery efforts dramatically." North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered marine mammal populations in the world, and are highly vulnerable to ship collisions. Pregnant females and females with calves are known to have been struck by ships along the east coast in recent years. The right whale population is small, about 300, and many scientists believe recovery has stalled, making the few reproductively active females even more important to population recovery. www.seadiscovery.com Marine Technology Reporter 11
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