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.