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NOAA petition to establish vessel speed and other vessel related measures to protect Rice's whales

Phins_360Phins_360 Posts: 48 Deckhand
edited May 11 in Conservation Front #1

The jest of it:
NOAA seeks to petition for a year round 10kt vessel speed restriction within waters between 100 meters and 400 meters deep from Pensacola to just south of Tampa (87.5 W  27.5 N) aka the "Vessel Slowdown Zone" plus an additional 10km buffer around that area within said VSZ zone.

The petition proposes the following additional restrictions within the VSZ:
1. No night time transitions. Defined as from civil sunrise to civil sunset.
2. All vessels transiting the VSZ must report this to NMFS beforehand. Or have an operational AIS.
3. Vessels must employ lookouts
4. Vessels must stay > 500m from observed whales
5. If deviating from reported path to NMFS, vessel must report changes to course to NMFS.

So this may not affect many of you.  But there is a large and growing contingent of folks (like myself) who routinely fish way out there.  This does impact us if adopted.  Also, they are looking at moving the VSZ into the 120 line as well since Rice's have been "spotted" that shallow.  So don't say it won't affect you.

Comments are open.  Please chime in with yours.  Me, I'm against it.  I've been fishing out there since like the mid 70s.  Never ever saw a whale, other than whale sharks.  Lots of those. 

This is yet another grab at our freedoms.

There are several environment action groups pushing  this proposal.  Here's 3 I know of

The "environmentalists" are marshalling their forces, we better start writing otherwise this is just going to creep further into our fisheries.


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