Federal officials are asking Bay Area boaters to be on the lookout for migrating whales during the next few months.

NOAA's Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary issued the advisory Tuesday, cautioning that now through May thousands of whales, especially gray whales, will be moving through busy shipping lanes in Bay Area waters as they migrate from breeding grounds in Mexico to feed in arctic waters near Alaska.

Many of these whales are mothers with newborn calves that may even venture or stop close to shore to nurse or rest, or to avoid killer whales, according to the advisory.

NOAA cautioned boaters not to approach within 300-feet of a whale, cut across its path or make sudden speed or directional changes or get between a whale and her calf. If separated from its mother, a calf could starve to death.

More information can be found at <a href="http://www.noaa.gov">noaa.gov</a> or on Facebook at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/usnoaa.gov">facebook.com/usnoaa.gov</a>.