State regulators are proposing a new requirement that lobstermen put purple marks on their gear. It's a measure intended to provide better information about the origin of rope that entangles endangered North Atlantic right whales and other marine animals.
PORTLAND, Maine - An arm of the federal government says it's disappointed that a lobster fishing group is pulling its support of a proposal to help endangered whales, but will continue to work with the fishermen.
State fishery regulators are postponing a series of meetings that had been scheduled with Maine lobstermen over the next several weeks to prepare for potential new federal restrictions designed to protect endangered North Atlantic Right Whales.
Angry Maine lobstermen are telling federal fisheries managers they want definitive proof that their gear is entangling endangered North Atlantic right whales. Until then, they say, the feds should back off from proposed rules that could force them to modify their gear and remove half their rope from the water.
Scientists Say More Right Whales Are Dying Off Canada As Climate Change Disrupts Food Sources
For the past several years, including this one, endangered North Atlantic right whales appear to have been bypassing traditional feeding grounds off Maine’s coast, congregating instead off Canada in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where some are dying.
Golden, Pingree Try To Stop Federal Rules That Would Limit Amount Of Rope Lobstermen Can Use
Maine Congressman Jared Golden and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree are trying to block funding for federal rules that would force Maine lobstermen to take half of their gear-rope out of the water. The issue is part of the debate over how best to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale against potentially deadly entanglement.
More than 100 Downeast lobstermen turned out in Trenton Tuesday night for a meeting with the state’s top marine resources official to weigh in on gear and other changes that will be imposed within two years to reduce the risk that endangered North Atlantic right whales will be entangled.