Oct 24 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and his colleagues recently sent a letter to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regarding a recently proposed change to the North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW) Vessel Strike Reduction Rule. In their letter, the senators argue the rule change would slow operations at the port, hurt sport fishers and boat manufacturers, and threaten the lives of harbor pilots.

“After briefings from our harbor pilots and ports experts, the proposed changes as we understand them would challenge navigation safety, endanger mariners, and threaten the viability of South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida ports, as well as the boating and fishing industries and communities in our states,” the senators wrote.

“Again, while we support NOAA’s efforts to protect the NARW, these efforts should not put mariners in danger, or unnecessarily disrupt the maritime supply chain that is so important to our country’s economy and national security. We urge NOAA to work in good faith with key stakeholders, including ports, pilots, shipping, and labor organizations, to modify its proposal so that the NARW is protected, but the unintended consequences discussed above can be eliminated,” the senators concluded. 

Read the letter in full here.