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Supreme Court rejects Maine group's challenge to new lobstering restrictions

Eric Pray
Robert F. Bukaty
In this Friday, May 29, 2020 photo, Eric Pray unpacks a lobster on a wharf in Portland, Maine. Pray is one of many fishermen and farmers who have pivoted quickly to sell to directly to consumers after the coronavirus shutdown cut out usual sales options.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against Maine lobster fishermen who sought to block new fishing restrictions that are designed to protect rare whales.

The new rules make an approximately 950-square-mile area of the Gulf of Maine essentially off limits to lobster fishing from October to January.

That's to protect North Atlantic right whales, which are one of the rarest whales and number less than 340.

Members of Maine's lobster fishing industry asked the high court to block the new restrictions after an appeals court ruled that the closure was legal.

Justice Stephen Breyer rejected the appeal on Friday without comment.