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New Right Whale Protection Rules Could Include Gear Changes For Lobstermen

Courtesy New England Aquarium
A right whale entangled in fishing gear off Campobello Island in August of 2013.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team will meet next month to consider new rules to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
The rules could include costly gear changes for lobster harvesters, whose trap-lines can entangle the whales. They could also affect where and when lobster harvesters can set traps.
Maine's Department of Marine Resources will hold community meetings to provide information and gather input from people the rules are likely to affect. Those meetings will take place April 8 in South Portland, April 9 in Rockland and April 10 in Ellsworth.

State regulators are seeking solutions that protect the whales and the lobster industry.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.