[MARMAM] Comments to NOAA requested to help save North Atlantic right whales

William Rossiter rossiter at csiwhalesalive.org
Fri Jul 26 07:24:08 PDT 2013


There are approximately 509 North Atlantic right whales alive today, and 
two significant causes of mortality that continue to significantly 
affect the species' recovery: entanglements and ship strikes. 
Considerable effort has been made to solve these and other issues, but 
the current Rule affecting ship strikes by requiring 10kt speeds under 
certain conditions is due to end in December.

This is a request that you consider commenting directly to NOAA, the 
U.S. agency currently considering making permanent this ship strike 
Rule. Comments must be received no later than 6 August. Please spread 
this message by any means available.

The NOAA website at 
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20130605_rightwhale.html gives 
the background, and says:
"The existing rules, which reduce an ocean-going vessel's speed to 10 
knots or less during certain times and locations along the East Coast 
from Maine to Florida, have reduced the number of whales struck by ships 
since 2008, when the speed limits began. No right whale ship strike 
deaths have occurred in Seasonal Management Areas since the rule went 
into place. Modeling studies indicate the measures have reduced the 
probability of fatal ship strikes of right whales by 80 to 90 percent." 
The current rule will end stop in December, unless made permanent as 
proposed.

Your comment to NOAA is especially important to confront the opposition 
to making this rule permanent, which consists of commercial shipping and 
other marine users that assert their operations are impacted 
economically by the increased transit time. On the other hand, the best 
available science asserts that the loss of one reproductive female may 
precipitate the species' extinction, and several die from anthropogenic 
impacts every year.

You may submit public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
www.regulations.gov <http://www.regulations.gov/> or by visiting the 
comment page on the Office of Protected Resources website at 
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/comment.htm 
<http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/comment.htm>. NOAA's Fisheries Service will 
also accept written comments mailed by August 6th to: Office of 
Protected Resources, NOAA Fisheries, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver 
Spring, MD 20910; or faxed to 301-713-4060.

Direct link for your comment: 
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0058-0001
* Note that the proposed rule PDF itself may be downloaded from the 
comment page.

Thank you,

William W. Rossiter
President
Cetacean Society International
65 Redding Road-0953
Georgetown, CT 06829-0953
t/c: 203.770.8615, f: 860.561.0187
rossiter at csiwhalesalive.org
www.csiwhalesalive.org
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