Rights and Wrongs: The North Atlantic Right Whale and proposed regulations

The North Atlantic Right Whale is in trouble. But with proposed regulations to help the species potentially impacting the sportfishing industry, captains and others are pushing back about who’s really to blame.

Capt. Harry Garrecht captains M/Y Sea Deuce, a 64-foot custom Carolina. Garrecht depends on the speed of M/Y Sea Deuce to get him to his fishing grounds, canyons at least 80 miles offshore. Proposed speed restrictions aimed at protecting North Atlantic Right Whales by capping speeds at 10 knots would change his fishing trips and charters to 24-to-36-hour journeys.

“Your boat could do 24 or 25 knots and your customers are paying for that; if you have to do 10 knots, that’s going to cut down their fishing time and it’s coming out of their pocket,” Garrecht said. “Now that’s not fair to the captain, that’s not fair to the charter company, and that’s not fair to the charter guests.”

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