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Fight Against NMFS’s Proposed Speed Rule

Recreational anglers are not opposed to conservation; rather, we seek a comprehensive approach that respects the diverse needs of stakeholders. Explore the impact of NMFS's Proposed Speed Rule and the perspective from recreational anglers.

Fight Against NMFS’s Proposed Speed Rule

In marine conservation, few issues have garnered as much attention as the protection of endangered species. Among these, the North Atlantic right whale stands out as a symbol of both the beauty and fragility of our oceans. As recreational anglers, our connection to these majestic creatures is undeniable. While we share the common goal of safeguarding right whales, the proposed speed restriction rule by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has sparked a spirited debate within our community. In this article, we delve into NMFS's proposed rule, why it matters to us as anglers, and explore the perspectives that underlie the fight against it.

Vessel Speed Restrictions for Right Whales Will Prevent Access. Keep America Fishing

What is NMFS's Proposed Speed Rule?

The NMFS has proposed a new regulation aimed at mitigating the risk of vessel strikes on North Atlantic right whales. This rule suggests implementing speed restrictions for vessels in certain areas and during specific times to reduce the likelihood of collisions with these endangered creatures. The proposed rule would require all boats 35 feet and longer that go offshore from Massachusetts to north Florida to restrict their speed to 10 knots (11.5 mph) or slower between November to April or May.

Why It Matters: The Angler's Perspective

As ardent lovers of the sea and its inhabitants, recreational anglers stand at the forefront of marine conservation efforts. We understand the importance of protecting right whales and ensuring the health of our oceans for future generations. However, our hesitation to support the proposed speed restriction rule stems from concerns about its potential impact on our angling activities.

Preserving Access to Fishing Grounds

One of our primary concerns is the potential restriction of access to traditional fishing grounds. The proposed rule could limit our ability to reach prime fishing spots, thus hampering our cherished recreational experiences. Many of us have forged deep connections with these waters, and losing access would not only affect our enjoyment but also the livelihoods of coastal communities reliant on recreational fishing.

Balancing Conservation and Recreation

The dilemma lies in striking a balance between conservation efforts and preserving the essence of recreational angling. While our commitment to protecting right whales is unwavering, we believe that a collaborative approach, which involves stakeholders from various sectors, can yield solutions that safeguard both the species and our cherished pastime.

What Can People Do: A Call to Action

Recreational anglers support conservation and advocate for a comprehensive approach that considers the diverse stakeholder needs. Join our dialogue to collaboratively protect right whales while preserving angling traditions and coastal livelihoods. Your voice can drive positive change for a harmonious future.

ASA - American Sportfishing Association
for more information

Contact Your Members of Congress
Encourage their support for the "Protecting Whales, Human Safety, and the Economy Act." Visit the  ASA Action Center for sample letters and take action today!

Explore the Coastal Recreation Page
Access valuable insights and information about this critical issue.

Spread Awareness on Social Media
Share this important topic across your social platforms, directing followers to  ASA's Keep America Fishing action alert.

The fight against NMFS's proposed speed restriction rule is not a rejection of our commitment to right whale conservation. Rather, it reflects our dedication to finding an equitable solution that safeguards both these magnificent creatures and the cherished recreational angling experiences we hold dear. By actively engaging in the conversation, advocating for comprehensive approaches, and supporting research initiatives, we can contribute to a future where the needs of right whales and recreational anglers coexist in harmony.