NOAA Fisheries is finalizing new vessel speed restrictions that stretch from Massachusetts to Florida in an effort to protect North Atlantic right whales. This could be the most extreme federal regulation ever imposed on the recreational fishing and boating community. We need Congress to weigh in with the Biden Administration on behalf of anglers and boaters. Click here to write your members of Congress today.
If finalized, vessels 35 feet and larger would have to travel 10 knots (11.5 mph) or slower on essentially the entire Atlantic Coast for as long as seven months of the year. This rule was developed largely behind closed doors without stakeholder input from the recreational fishing and boating community.
As America’s original conservationists, recreational anglers and boaters understand the importance of protecting North Atlantic right whales. However, NOAA’s proposal is classic government overreach – missing the mark on conservation while cutting off access to the open ocean. Based on NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program trip data and vessel registration data, the chance of a recreational vessel 35 – 65 feet striking a right whale is less than one in a million.
The Agency needs to work with stakeholders to find a better way forward – one that meets our shared marine conservation goals while fostering public access to America’s public resources.
Please take one minute today to urge your U.S. Senators and Congressman or woman to contact NOAA on behalf of recreational fishing and boating. Marine industry stakeholders, click here to send your letter today. Anglers and boaters, click here to send your letter today.