By Judi McLeod
Mon Dieu! This is the Merry Christmas U.S. President Joe Biden sent today to millions of hardworking Americans, fishers who depend on the Atlantic Ocean to make a living in a proposal that would limit the speed of all motorboats over 35 feet—all the way along the coast line from Florida to Massachusetts!
“This would be the greatest regulatory overreach in American maritime law” — that’s how Frank Hugelmeyer describes the proposal (Fox News, Dec. 15, 2022). “Not only are they creating a serious safety issue, they are creating a massive negative economic impact.”
Five deadly whale strikes by boats between 35 to 65 feet in length over the last 15 years
“Hugelmeyer is president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), and he is just one of a growing number of voices expressing outrage over the proposal put forward by the U.S. Commerce Department under the auspices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“It’s stupid,” said Jeff Angers, the president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “It’s not what government is supposed to do.”
“The far-reaching regulation would restrict speed to 10 knots or 11.5 miles per hour for all boats over 35 feet — for up to seven months out of the year and up to 100 miles out at sea for most of the East Coast.
“The purpose: to prevent the boats from hitting an endangered right whale.
“In an email to Fox News, an NOAA spokesman pointed out there are only 350 right whales left in the ocean.
“This rule is designed to reduce the risk of mortalities from vessel strikes and afford the species a greater opportunity to recover,” the statement read.
“The statement admitted, however, there have only been five deadly whale strikes by boats between 35 to 65 feet in length over the last 15 years. (Boats over 65 feet are already subject to a speed restriction.)
“It’s ridiculous,” added Angers, who pointed out there’s less than a one in a million chance of a fishing boat hitting a whale, according to NOAA’s own numbers.
“Based on actual interactions between recreational boats and right whales, the proposed restrictions are unjustifiable, ineffective and unnecessary,” he says.”
“It’s going to be hard to maintain control. You can take waves over the side.”
This is what fisherfolk got just 10 days before Christmas from an old man all at sea, Joe Biden.