The Biden administration is finalizing a rule that seeks to protect the North Atlantic right whale. However, the rule is misguided and will not have the intended impact on the right whale population. Instead, it will have far-reaching and severe economic consequences for coastal communities like ours.
Reduced vessel speeds will undoubtedly lead to higher costs for businesses and consumers, longer travel times, increased fuel consumption and inefficiencies, and more. Up and down the eastern seaboard – small businesses in coastal communities and the many families and economies they support will suffer.
There are technologies already in place that boats can utilize to detect whales better to prevent vessel strikes. Whale detection technologies use real-time data monitoring that informs vessel operations and allow them to avoid potential strikes. By locating whales more accurately coast-wide, blanket speed regulations would not be necessary.
The government needs to listen to community voices like mine. There’s got to be a better way to resolve this. We all want to protect our coastal communities – businesses and wildlife alike.
Jeanette Hoffman, Asbury