VIDEO: Whale warning issued in Northern California

Federal officials issued a warning to boaters as dozens of whales have gathered off the Northern California coast.
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Federal officials issued a warning to boaters as dozens of whales have gathered off the Northern California coast.

To ease the threat of vessels striking whales, federal officials say recreational boaters, including fishermen, should remain at least 300 feet away — the federal minimum distance guideline, according to the Associated Press.

"We are alerting small boaters and large-vessel operators to be on the alert for endangered whales and to maintain minimum distances," Maria Brown, superintendent of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, told the Marin Independent Journal.

Roger Thomas, the 80-year-old dean of the Bay Area salmon fleet who serves as skipper of Sausalito's Salty Lady, told the AP there seem to be more whales near shore this year than ever before.

"It's unbelievable," he said, adding that "whales are all over the place."

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