NOAA seeks permanent status for right whale ship strike reduction rule

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued this Proposed Rule, which would eliminate the expiration date (or “sunset clause”) contained in regulations requiring vessels to travel slowly to reduce the likelihood of lethal vessel collisions with North Atlantic right whales.

The regulations restrict vessel speeds to no more than 10 knots for vessels 65 ft (19.8 m) or greater in overall length in certain locations and at certain times of the year along the East Coast of the U.S.

The speed regulations will expire December 9, 2013, unless the sunset clause is removed. NOAA seeks public comment on the Proposed Rule to eliminate the sunset clause, and comment on metrics for assessing the long term costs and benefits of the rule to the endangered North Atlantic right whale population. 
Written or electronic comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. local time on August 5, 2013. Follow this link to submit your comment.

For more information, visit:

Proposed Rule
NOAA comment page for the Proposed Rule
NOAA website
Jacksonville Maritime Transportation Exchange (JMTX) website