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NOAA issues new guidelines for cruise ships and tour vessels in glacial fjords


ANCHORAGE (AP) — New voluntary guidelines for cruise ships and other tour boats aimed at protecting harbor seals, especially vulnerable nursing pups, in Alaska’s glacial fjords were announced Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Previous voluntary guidelines called for vessels to stay at least 100 yards away from seals on ice floes. After determining that seals are 25 times more likely to flush into cold fjord water at that distance, the agency came up with a new voluntary guideline of 500 yards, a buffer of more than a quarter-mile.

“This is an effort to...

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