Mandatory Ship Reporting System for North Atlantic Right Whales (MSR)

Right Whale Mandatory Ship Reporting System: What do you think?

Please Take Our Survey!

  • Brochure: MSR Requirements (pdf)
  • USCG Notice to Mariners (1999) (pdf)
  • U.S. Coast Pilot Requirements (pdf)
  • USCG Commandant Instruction 16214.3 (pdf)
  • Final Rule (11/20/2001, 69FR 58066)
  • Steps to avoid collisions (pdf)

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For more information go to:

The National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal agency responsible for the stewardship of living marine resources and their habitats, is sponsoring a survey to obtain mariner's feedback on the North Atlantic right whale Mandatory Ship Reporting (MSR) system.

The purpose of the survey is to evaluate and improve the MSR program and mariner feedback is needed. If you are a mariner operating or working on a vessel 300 gt or greater on the east coast of the United States, or who has operated in this area in the past, NMFS is seeking your input. The survey consists of 9 questions, and also allows for additional comments. Completing the survey is expected to take less than 10 minutes. The survey is voluntary and all responses are anonymous and confidential. To take the survey, log on to:


Collisions with ships are a major source of injury and death of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. In an effort to reduce the number of ship strikes, NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) developed and implemented Mandatory Ship Reporting Systems. The systems were endorsed by the International Maritime Organization, a specialized organization of the United Nations. The systems became operational in July 1999.

Reporting Requirements

When ships 300 gross tons and greater enter two key right whale habitats--one off the northeast U.S. and one off the southeast U.S.--they are required to report to a shore-based station. In return, ships receive a message about right whales, their vulnerability to ship strikes, precautionary measures the ship can take to avoid hitting a whale, and locations of recent sightings.

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