Recreational Fishing and Boating Groups Want a Pause in Proposed Federal Regulations to Limit Boat Speed

By Bob McNally

In early October numerous fishing and boating groups (including IGFA and CCA) representing countless outdoors people urged the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to pause its proposed North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule because it had many flaws.NMFS is proposing amendments to the rule that would broaden the current 10-knot speed limit for 65-foot boats and larger, to boats 35-feet and larger. The proposed rule would expand the go-slow zones from discrete calving areas to essentially the entire Atlantic Coast out to 90 miles, with zone restrictions lasting up to seven months per year.This staggeringly broad proposal would devastate America’s marine industry, hugely impact fishermen, guides and the entire coastal marina, tackle, resort and other outdoor businesses, say representatives of the impacted groups of the proposed federal rule.

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