Thursday, April 25, 2024

NOAA Extends Public Comments Deadline For Right Whale Strike Reduction Rule


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has extended the deadline for the public to submit comments on a proposed rule meant to reduce ship strikes on the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

The National Marine Fisheries Service’s original deadline was September 30th, 2022 but that has now been extended by another 30 days, according to a notice in the US Federal Register:

“In response to multiple requests for an extension, NMFS is announcing an extension of the public comment period by an additional 30 calendar days ending on October 31, 2022.”

On August 1, 2022, NMFS published proposed changes to the North Atlantic right whale vessel speed regulations to further reduce the likelihood of death and serious injuries to endangered right whales from vessel collisions, which are a leading cause of the species’ decline, according to NOAA:

“The proposed rule would: (1) modify the spatial and temporal boundaries of current speed restriction areas referred to as Seasonal Management Areas (SMAs), (2) include most vessels greater than or equal to 35 ft (10.7 m) and less than 65 ft (19.8 m) in length in the size class subject to speed restriction, (3) create a Dynamic Speed Zone framework to implement mandatory speed restrictions when whales are known to be present outside active SMAs, and (4) update the speed rule’s safety deviation provision.”

Check out the notice here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.