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Agency also releases a “roadmap” for use of ropeless gear to boost endangered species recovery

Today, NOAA Fisheries announced proposed changes to vessel speed regulations to further protect North Atlantic right whales from death and serious injuries resulting from collisions — part of a multifaceted approach to stabilize and recover this endangered population. The changes would expand the current mandatory seasonal speed restrictions of 10 knots or less in designated areas of the ocean and extend to most vessels measuring 35 to 65 feet in length.

In addition, the agency is releasing a draft “roadmap” for public comment about on-demand, or “ropeless” fishing gear, that outlines possible ways to increase the use of this technology in commercial fisheries off the East Coast of the United States. The draft roadmap leverages lessons from fisheries using on-demand gear that are emerging around the world.