In the hopes of saving a declining population of North Atlantic Right whales, NOAA aims to institute a 10-knot speed limit along much of the Atlantic coast. We cut through the clutter and get to the heart of this matter with this emergency podcast with Viking Director of Government Affairs and Sustainability John DePersenaire.
Listen in the player below:
Open Letter to NOAA,
For as long as I can remember marine magazines and NOAA have enjoyed a strong, professional relationship because of the alignment in our values. NOAA’s work in regulating safe seafood, protecting estuaries, providing hurricane forecasting, navigational support, tide and current data, etc. is greatly appreciated by the boating community.
It is from this place of respect that I’m surprised to learn about the rushed proposal from NOAA Fisheries to enact a speed-reduction policy that will devastate the commercial and recreational boating industries with a flawed plan to preserve the declining population of North Atlantic Right Whales.
As you aptly illustrate on your homepage (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/about-us) the U.S. fishing industry accounts for: “1.2 million commercial jobs, 553,000 recreational jobs. $165 billion in commercial sales, $89 billion in recreational sales...”
These numbers say nothing about the hard-working men and women that I’ve had the privilege to meet in the boating industry. Having been born into boating and being lucky enough to work in my dream job as the editor-in-chief of Power & Motoryacht, I’ve met dockhands, marina managers, boat builders, engine manufacturers, techs, designers, boat show assemblers, captains, CEOs, receptionists, delivery drivers, tugboat operators, harbor pilots, waterborne first responders and so many others. The men and women in the marine industry come from all walks of life but there is one through-line that characterizes most of the people I’ve had the chance to meet: They love being part of the boating industry. They love playing a role in a pastime that brings joy to so many; a pastime that brings people together better than any other hobby I know.
I respect the work you’re doing to preserve the dying population of Right Whales. More than any other demographic, we boaters are the ones who care for the ocean its many mammals the most. I personally will never forget sitting on the bow of my parent’s 26-foot Sea Ray off Cape Cod and seeing Humpback whales for the first time. It’s a memory I’ll never forget; one I hope to replicate with my young son and, God willing, with his children one day. I support your mission but you’re treating boaters as an enemy in this fight when we should be looked to as your greatest ally and resource.
Please push off this disastrous plan that will cripple the industry I love and give us a seat at the table to work out solutions. I am standing by and will make myself available to contribute to a common-sense solution at your convenience.
Thank you for your time and—hopefully—your honest consideration.
Daniel Harding Jr.
Power & Motoryacht
Active Interest Media Marine Group
You can read the full proposal from NOAA here: https://www.regulations.gov/document/NOAA-NMFS-2022-0022-0005
Please let your voice be heard and comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/NOAA-NMFS-2022-0022-0005