The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is considering a petition that would unnecessarily restrict recreational boating access in large areas of the Gulf of Mexico.
Petitioners have requested that NOAA create a “Vessel Slowdown Zone” with a mandatory 10 knot (11 mph) speed limit for all vessels. The petition is intended to help protect the Rice’s whale, however, there has never been a documented case of a recreational vessel striking a Rice’s whale.
The petition also proposes the following additional restrictions on boaters:
Make your voice heard, tell NOAA to reject this ill-advised petition and work with the recreational boating and fishing community to come up with an effective, data-driven strategy to protect the Rice’s whale.