Boating Proposal Gets Backlash From Critics

Biden Admin Proposal Gets Backlash From Critics

( – The government wants to implement a new policy to restrict speed in waters in the North Atlantic. The goal behind the move aims to reduce the number of collisions between vessels and right whales, which often result in death or fatal injuries to the large mammals. Speed restrictions already exist, but the new proposal would expand them. However, the administration is facing some public pushback over the proposal.

Current regulations place speed limits on vessels 65 feet or larger, but the suggested changes would apply the rule to all boats exceeding 35 feet. The proposal also would expand Seasonal Management Areas, which are the places where the limit of 10 knots applies, and extend restrictions outside these areas if whales are present.

According to a report from Fox News, National Marine Manufacturers Association President Frank Hugelmeyer said the changes would reduce safety and negatively impact the economy. He believes this type of overreach in regulation would be historic. According to American Sportfishing Association President Glenn Hughes, it could lead to the end of fishing off the eastern coast because it would increase the time it takes to get out in the water and back in each day.

Meanwhile, the outlet reports that Boat Owners Association of the United States President Chris Edmonston said the reduced speed puts vessels in danger because moving that slow inhibits proper movement through waves. He noted it would make it harder to handle the boats, resulting in more accidents and increased crew injuries. According to a piece from The Fisherman, a RFA board member also feels the policy would significantly hurt all related maritime businesses, while another called it “government overreach.”

The managing agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), explained to Fox News that the right whale, which officials are seeking to protect with the new rules, is at risk. Approximately 350 right whales remain, and five deadly incidents have occurred in the past 15 years. Federal officials hope to protect the species better by implementing the new regulations.

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