NOAA Ship Speed Restrictions Flouted off US E. Coast
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are increasing their vigilance to protect the seasonal whale calving grounds.
Despite NOAA advertising the speed restrictions it seems vessels are continuing to flout the speed limitation. Vessels in these areas are continually seen to be breaking these speed restrictions, in particular in the Delaware Bay entrance area are therefore being fined by NOAA. Fines levied by NOAA amount to $5,750 per incident. NOAA are using locally sourced AIS data to monitor and record the speeds of approaching vessels and using this data as evidence.
The navigation charts of the area do not show the seasonal speed management areas and the speed restrictions details. Charts of speed reduction areas are available here.
It should be noted that NOAA has become more aggressive with its enforcement and are issuing many more fines. Unlike the US Coast Guard, NOAA is unlikely to agree to fine mitigation therefore there is little defence against any fines levied. The UK P&I Club has been made aware of an increase in enforcement actions with NOAA actually presenting penalties for violations occurring over two years old.