Urge NOAA to protect the Rice's whale


Dear Assistant Regional Administrator David Bernhart:

We, the undersigned, support the proposal to enforce year-round, 10-knot vessel speed restrictions in parts of the Gulf of Mexico to protect the endangered Rice's whale.

Rice's whales are one of the most endangered large whale species on the planet. There are currently fewer than 100 living Rice's whales, and your own scientists have reported that even a single reproductive-age female's death would be catastrophic to the species' existence.

Any way to mitigate these whales' survival risks should be implemented immediately.

Slowing down vessel speed for the sake of Rice's whales represents a critical and essential step. In addition, we urge you to enact a mandatory 10-knot speed limit and a ban on vessel transits at night.