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Industry welcomes rejection of Gulf speed restrictions


The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has welcomed news that a 10mph speed limit will not be enforced in the Gulf of Mexico region.

The trade organisation has been a staunch opponent of plans to bring in the year-long speed regulation under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act to protect the newly discovered Rice’s whale.

Glenn Hughes (pictured), President of the ASA, said: “While it’s a relief that the Rice’s whale speed petition will not move forward at this time, the sportfishing community must stay vigilant as this issue is far from over.

“While others seem to want to rely solely on draconian vessel speed restrictions, our community continues to push for technology that will allow for more dynamic and effective mitigation of whale strikes.

“We will continue to advocate for Congress and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to work with our community to fund and develop real time whale detection and mitigation measures that will allow for continued public access to the ocean while better protecting endangered whales.”

“Anglers and boaters can breathe a sigh of relief that extreme vessel speed restrictions and other measures encouraged by radical environment groups for the Gulf of Mexico are no longer a threat,” said Jeff Angers, President of the Center for Sportfishing Policy.

“Draconian speed vessel restrictions were never the answer to 21st century conservation challenges. We have asked the NOAA to work with experts from our industry in improving technology to help tell mariners where whales are instead of effectively barring public access to America’s marine waters.”

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