U.S. Reps Voice Concerns Over Whale Speed Limits - The Fisherman

U.S. Reps Voice Concerns Over Whale Speed Limits

U.S. representatives Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Mike Collins (R-Ga.) voiced concerns during a House hearing about NOAA’s proposed speed restrictions along the Atlantic coast.

The hearing followed the American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C., where the primary focus was on the proposed expansion of speed limits intended to protect North Atlantic Right Whales from vessels strikes and the impact it would have on boating industry.

The representatives’ districts are in areas where the proposed rule would limit boats 35 feet and larger to 10 knots for up to seven months of the year. In some places, the speed limit would extend 90 miles offshore.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association said in a statement that Posey and Collins raised their concerns during a House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee hearing. They directed questions and concerns to NOAA administrator Richard Spinrad over the lack of stakeholder engagement in its North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule.

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) this week launched the Take Me Fishing™ “Find Your Best Self on the Water” campaign to create awareness of fishing and boating among diverse new audiences and motivate participation. The national integrated marketing campaign, rooted in extensive research, helps women uncover the life-changing benefits of fishing and boating.

“Women are the gateway to the greatest growth in fishing and boating participation,” said RBFF SVP of Marketing & Communications, Stephanie Vatalaro. “The opportunity is clear. Research shows women do most of the family activity planning and drive 85 percent of consumer spending decisions.  Most kids fish with Moms more than with Dads and brands who put women front and center in their advertising are held in higher regard by both women and men.”

The business opportunity is also clear. A 2022 Southwick Associates study found the average female angler in the U.S. spends $962 annually on sport fishing gear and services. A 10 percent increase in women’s fishing participation could provide an additional $1 billion in revenue to the sportfishing industry.