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NOAA proposes rule to expand vessel speed restrictions to vessels 35 to 65 feet long

by American Sportfishing Association 3 Aug 12:58 PDT
North Atlantic right whale #3230 `Infinity` and her calf were struck off the coast of Florida in February 2021. Her calf pictured above died from the strike. “Infinity” was spotted several days later with injuries suggestive of a vessel strike. © Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission / NOAA permit 18786

NOAA Fisheries is proposing changes to the North Atlantic right whale vessel speed rule that would expand mandatory speed restrictions of 10 knots or less to include most vessels 35-65 feet in length.

It would also broaden the spatial boundaries and timing of seasonal speed restriction areas along the U.S. East Coast. Given the significant implications of this proposal on many offshore fishing vessels, ASA and partners will engage in the development of this rule to minimize negative impacts to the sportfishing community. Comments on the proposal are due by September 30, 2022.

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