10 knot sb

Last year, National Marine Fisheries Service launched a shot across the bow of the marine industry. To halt a drop in the population of North Atlantic Right Whales, the agency, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, proposed both a substantial expansion of 10-knot speed restriction zones along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and a decrease in the size of boats affected. Instead of 65 feet and up, the proposal would cover boats down to 35 feet. Go-slow zones would also be expanded to up to seven months of the year for much of the U.S. Atlantic Coast out to 90 miles offshore.

A revision to speed rules set up in 2008 has been in the works for some time. In 2013, NOAA began a review and published their findings in 2020. The study didn’t make specific recommendations on speed restrictions but noted, “The number of documented and reported small vessel collisions with whales necessitates further action both as it relates to potential regulations and outreach to this sector of the mariner community.”

Read on.