Watermen unhappy with NOAA’s proposed 10 knot speed rule, voicing their concerns to Congress

 

DELMARVA – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) is proposing new legislation that watermen on Delmarva are not happy with.

“The question is if this new rule has a huge economic impact that it needs to be rethought before implemented,” says Congressman Andy Harris.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing a new rule that will affect watermen’s business here on Delmarva. “We’ll they want to put a restriction on speed,” says Waterman Sean Welsh.

Speeding restrictions that Congressman Andy Harris took the time to hear about meeting with local watermen and after listening to the issues and he agrees with the watermen. “Going out 100 miles off Ocean City would very adversely affect the ability of recreation fisherman to be attracted to the area or charter boat captains to operate,” says the Congressman.

Local watermen say this is a regulation they simply can’t afford because if they were hurting wildlife it would impact their business more. “We can’t afford to hit a whale, you realize the damage the whale does to our – so the guys at the wheel of these vessels, especially during this time period are certainly paying attention,” says Welsh.

Caretakers of the ocean believe NOAA has to do more research for a regulation of this capacity to be finalized. “The economic impact of shutting down these guy’s boats and current charter boats that are still fishing here year-round is really absurd without any real data to support what they’re asking to do,” says Welsh.

Instead of passing the regulation as is, Congressman Harris says more needs to be done. “So we’re going to look into it and make inquiries to see what the evidence is that this rule will be successful because it will have a huge negative economic impact if put in place,” says the Congressman.

NOAA was invited to this meeting however unable to attend. Watermen at the meeting were told to put their concerns in writing if they haven’t already before the next steps are made.

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