Letter: Rule change would hinder NC’s boating, fishing economy

Federal regulators’ proposed new rule changes to vessel speed regulations along the Atlantic Coast will have major consequences for recreational boaters and anglers here in North Carolina.

While the proposal has the good intention of protecting the North American right whale, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did not consider input from key stakeholders — including those in the boating and fishing communities.

NOAA’s rule would blanket the East Coast with a speed zone of 10 knots, as far out as 90 miles from shore, and apply to boats 35 foot and larger. Many boats, like those made by Regulator, have deep V hulls that plane well above the proposed 10 knots. In worsening sea conditions, dozens of miles offshore, these restrictions pose serious safety concerns.

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