Fight Against 10-Knot Restriction Strengthens

Our grassroots effort to fight the federal government’s proposed 10-knot restriction along the Eastern Seaboard is gaining momentum, as we've launched several key initiatives. The proposed North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule would devastate our industry by broadening the current 10-knot limit to include boats 35 feet and larger, which would include the majority of our V Series center consoles, including the V-46 (shown above), and expanding the slow zones to essentially the entire Atlantic Coast as far out as 100 miles.

The first initiative is an updated pre-written letter that not only asks Congress to halt the proposed NOAA Fisheries’ rule but also pushes for funding of technological solutions to monitor North Atlantic Right Whales. NOAA is expected to finalize the rule later this year, so there’s still time to make a difference by sending this updated letter to lawmakers.


Viking and key industry stakeholders (National Marine Manufacturers Association, American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, BoatUS, Recreational Fishing Alliance and others) have played a critical role in an industry-wide effort to stop NOAA Fisheries’ changes to the rule. The amended mandate poses serious public access, safety and privacy concerns for boaters, and would devastate boating, fishing and coastal businesses.

The campaign has strengthened since Viking’s impactful press conference at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last fall. We’ve taken it a step further by actively pursuing science and technology-based solutions to monitor and protect the whales. The second initiative is the formation of the Whale and Vessel Safety (WAVS) Task Force, which was spearheaded by Viking. This panel of experts will work to identify, develop and implement technology and monitoring tools to mitigate the risk of vessel strikes to marine mammals, with special attention to the right whales, according to Viking Director of Government Affairs and Sustainability John Depersenaire (above). Click here for the press release.

The third component of our effort takes the fight to Washington D.C. Viking staff, including Pat Healey, Bob Healey Jr., Justin Healey (above), Robert Sherriff and John DePersenaire, will be involved to a great extent on Capitol Hill next month when hundreds of recreational boating and fishing industry leaders meet for the industry’s premier advocacy event – the American Boating Congress (ABC), May 8-10. John will provide an update on the work of the WAVS Task Force, and the Viking group will be meeting with policymakers on the impacts of NOAA’s proposed vessel speed restrictions and advocating for reasonable solutions.

Stay tuned to the V Report as we continue to cover this proposed rule change, which is the most consequential maritime law the boating and fishing community has ever faced. Click here to learn about the drastic restrictions that NOAA has proposed.

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