NMMA this week participated in a Hill briefing hosted by OCEANA, which focused on NOAA’s proposed rule to address ship strikes to endangered North Atlantic right whales and educated over 50 congressional staffers on the need for major revisions to NOAA’s proposal in order to achieve the shared goal of protecting the North Atlantic right whale population.
As America’s original conservationists, recreational boaters and anglers proactively support science-based efforts to conserve our marine ecosystems. Further, the boating and angling community has worked closely with the Biden administration to develop policies that strike a balanced approach between conservation and recreation access.
NOAA is proposing to broaden the current 10-knot speed restriction to include vessels 35 feet and larger (down from 65 feet); expand the go-slow zones to include virtually the entire Atlantic Coast, and extend these zone restrictions as long as seven months a year. Left unchanged, the proposal would curtail thousands of recreational boating and fishing trips each year, jeopardizing billions of dollars of economic impact, thousands of jobs and businesses, and the pastimes of tens of millions of Americans.
“NOAA Fisheries’ new proposal unfortunately underestimates the very real negative economic impact this would present to small businesses that make up the $170 billion recreational boating and fishing community. The proposal would curtail thousands of recreational boating and fishing trips each year along the Atlantic Coast, jeopardizing thousands of small marine businesses as well as those businesses who rely on boat and fishing outings, and tourist traffic and spending to keep their operations afloat.” said Clay Crabtree, NMMA director of federal government relations. “The boating and angling community looks forward to working alongside our industry partners to reach our shared goal of protecting the North Atlantic right whale, while keeping America’s cherished waters open.”
NMMA said it encourages stakeholders to take action on its grassroots advocacy platform, Boating United, and urge NOAA to make key revisions to its proposal that protect recreational boating and fishing access across the Atlantic Coast.