NOAA Extends Speed Limit Decision Deadline

The final decision on the North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule has been delayed by NOAA Fisheries until 2024.

A story out today by Bloomberg Law reports that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is delaying into 2024 their expansion of the 2008 North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction rule. This harmful proposal would create one of the largest restrictions on Americans’ access to public waterways, endanger boaters, and have a devastating impact on economies up and down the Atlantic Coast.

This is a welcome development, as just last month NOAA signaled the finalization of this rule would take place by the end of 2023. Below is the statement NMMA provided to the trade press:

“We are encouraged by the reports that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has decided to delay their proposed vessel speed restrictions along the Atlantic Coast,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “This harmful proposal has the potential to significantly impact boater safety and coastal economies across the Eastern Seaboard. We will continue to engage NOAA to find a balanced solution that protects the North Atlantic right whale without jeopardizing small businesses and the livelihoods of hardworking Americans.”

As we’ve shared before, we continue to pressure the administration to pause the rule, while working with allies in Congress to establish safeguards through legislation. We continue efforts to drive bipartisan support for the Protecting Whales, Human Safety, and the Economy Act. This legislation would pause the NARW rule and appropriate $5 million to the authorized real-time monitoring program that is focused on developing and deploying innovative, scalable technology solutions to facilitate dynamic management of mitigating vessel strike risk for recreational boats.

In the event NOAA files the rule, NMMA is coordinating with legal counsel and staying informed about coordinated plans from members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, ensuring we’re prepared to address the situation accordingly. We encourage members to remain active and engaged on this issue. Please reach out to me and our team for ways you can lend your voice.

About

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the nation’s leading trade association representing boat, marine engine and accessory manufacturers. Collectively, NMMA members manufacture an estimated 80 percent of marine products used in North America. NMMA is a unifying force and powerful voice for the recreational boating industry, working to strengthen and grow boating and protect the interests of its member companies.