Regulators hold off on requiring lobstermen to install electronic trackers on their boats
Regulators are holding off on a plan to require lobstermen to install electronic trackers on their boats. Members of the American Lobster Management Board Tuesday considered a raft of industry concerns about the technology's purposes, its cost, and data-privacy, and then decided to take more time to evaluate the issues.
"The lobster fishery is a difficult fishery to enforce rules in, because of the vast area we cover and the number of people," said Steve Train, a lobsterman from Long Island, Maine, and a member of the regional board.
"Most of the rules are obeyed because they're believed in. And when you shove something down somebody's throat (that) they don't buy into, you change the entire outlook of the way they operate," Train said.
Scientists and conservationists support the electronic tracking program, saying it will provide much-needed data that can help the lobster fleet and vulnerable marine life coexist, as well as protect the fishery when offshore wind projects are being sited along the Atlantic seaboard. The lobster board agreed to delay final action until its next meeting, in the spring.