Dear Congressman Posey,
I am writing to you today as a constituent residing in Florida and as a boat owner.
The new NOAA speed regulations proposal will severely limit cruising & fishing; these recently proposed changes by the NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) will upend Floridian’s boating plans. If passed, the new law would limit the speed of all boats and yachts over 35-feet to under 10 knots in designated areas of the ocean (as far out as 90 miles and from Maine to Central Florida) during specific times of the year. The agency has claimed that they have data that suggests that vessels in this range have been responsible for unintentional strikes of North Atlantic Right Whales. The proposal also aims to expand the use of “on-demand” or “rope less” fishing gear such as turtle excluder devices and deflector dredges in commercial fisheries.
“Everyone in the boating industry is concerned about the proposed speed rule by the NOAA,” said Captain Jeff Palmer, President of United Yacht Sales. “While we are all concerned about the health of our marine life and its ecosystem, these rules were rushed and the impact on our industry would be devastating. Whether you are traveling south for the winter in a motor yacht or heading to the canyons in your sport fishing boat, you can’t even get your boat to plane at 10 knots. The consequences to our industry, and the overall enjoyment of boating on the east coast, would be catastrophic.”
The industry has begun to come together, from builders, to dealers, engine manufacturers, owners, and other segments to fight. “The facts do not support the sweeping changes being proposed by NOAA,” Pat Healey said in a statement. Pat Healey is the President of Viking Yachts, the largest sport fish builder in the world. “Since 1998 – 24 years – there have been 24 known right whale vessel strikes across 10 states. Of those, eight were attributed to boats from 35 to 65 feet. In our 58-year history, with more than 5,000 boats delivered, we have never had a report of our boats having an encounter with a right whale. And we would know because it would cause significant damage that would be repairable only by us.”
This is just another example of an egregious over reach by the Biden regime to force their “green agenda” down our collective throats. I would hope that you would not support such a regulation as this and block funding to NOAA for such an attack on our constitutional rights “of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Dr. Joseph A. Finley, Jr., Ph.D.
Source: United Yacht Sales