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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Federal officials are asking large ships to slow down as they approach San Francisco Bay to prevent collisions with whales.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued the advisory on Tuesday. It wants large vessels to reduce their speed to 10 knots, or about 11.5 miles per hour, in waters where the whales are evident.

The notice comes as whales are being seen in droves off the Northern California coast. And it follows the discovery at Point Reyes National Seashore last month of a rare fin whale that had been struck and killed by a ship.

Federal officials have also approved a plan to protect whales in the Bay area by better tracking them and rerouting ships. It will likely go into effect next year.