A new rushed proposal has been put forward by the National Marine Fisheries Service, an agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis
A new rushed proposal has been put forward by the National Marine Fisheries Service, an agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This proposal if implemented would put in place a 10-knot speed restriction for any boat 35 feet and larger. This speed limit would be put in place from Massachusetts to Florida, and could possibly devastate marine industries on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. As of now the current speed limit applies only to vessels 65 feet or larger, so the new rule would greatly affect recreational boating and fishing. As well as smaller commercial fishing operations along with a lot of the US charter fleet.
“The proposed rule, as written, would be the most consequential maritime regulation that we have ever seen imposed on the recreational boating and fishing sector,” says John DePersenaire, Director of Government Affairs and Sustainability for Viking Yachts. “It will affect not only boat owners but marinas, tackle shops, charter boat operators – basically all maritime-related businesses on the Atlantic Coast.”
Adds Viking President and CEO Pat Healey: “This would be a devastating regulatory mandate. Right whale vessel strikes have just not been an issue for our industry. This is a classic example of government overreach.”
The facts about right whale strikes don’t support these proposed sweeping changes by NOAA. In 24 years there have been 24 known right whale vessel strikes across 10 states. Of those strikes, only eight were attributed to boats in the 35 to 65 feet size range. If you want to let your opinion on this new amendment proposal to the North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule known, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. You can click here to comment on the proposal, they are taking comments until September 30th.