Legislation Would Prohibit The NOAA From Placing Unnecessary Burdens On Boating And Fishing Industries, Coastal Economies
Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Boozman (R-AR), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, introduced the bipartisan Protecting Whales, Human Safety, and the Economy Act of 2023 to prohibit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from issuing a rule that modifies or replaces the North Atlantic Right Whale vessel strike reduction regulation until technological solutions recently authorized by Congress can help better track whales and avoid strikes. NOAA has proposed changes that would broaden the boundaries and timing of seasonal speed restrictions while expanding mandatory speed restrictions, despite a lack of scientific evidence that the proposed changes would further protect Right Whales.
“America’s $230 billion recreational boating and fishing industry, made up of conservationists who work constantly to protect our treasured natural resources, will bear the brunt of NOAA’s misguided expansion of its North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule. Boaters and anglers deeply respect marine wildlife and know through innovation, technology, and a better understanding of whale migration patterns, our favored pastime and the North Atlantic right whale can co-exist in our nation’s waters,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We applaud Senators Manchin and Boozman for championing this bipartisan legislation and look forward to working alongside Congress to advance this bill and identify data-driven and innovative solutions that protect the North Atlantic right whale, American jobs, small businesses, and coastal economies.”