NOAA

Stephan Savoia / Maine Public

Maine Department of Marine Resources commissioner Patrick Keliher has sent a letter to NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center, refuting a recent memo which suggests that the lobster industry may be playing a role in the decline of the North Atlantic Right Whale.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

More than 180 seals have washed onto Maine beaches this month, and most of them have died. Marine mammal rescuers have been scrambling to respond and have been testing the animals to determine the cause. Thursday, federal scientists announced possible clues that could help determine what is causing these deaths.

Greg Wells / Flickr

New England's Atlantic herring fishery could be on the verge of collapse in some areas, and federal regulators have decided to immediately reduce catch limits. Conservationists welcome the move as a way to help populations recover, but advocates for the fishing industry fear extended quota reductions over the next few years.

Federal ocean managers are making more than $2 million available to try to help fishermen catch less of the wrong fish. "Bycatch" is a longstanding issue in commercial fisheries, and fishermen have long sought solutions to the problem of catching rare species when seeking exploitable ones.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it is providing about $2.4 million for "projects that increase collaborative research and partnerships for innovation" in reducing bycatch.

 PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is recommending more than $900,000 in federal funding for coastal habitat restoration projects in New England.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The federal government is dedicating $400,000 toward habitat conservation around the Penobscot River.