right whales

Fred Bever / Maine Public

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.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Hundreds of lobstermen and their allies turned out for a unity rally in Stonington Sunday.

Keith Shortall / Maine Public

Lobstermen and their supporters, including top-elected officials, will rally in Stonington on Sunday to make a united plea for their livelihoods.

Campobello Whale Rescue

A showdown over lobsters and whales appears to be brewing between Maine and the federal government.

Courtesy New England Aquarium

FREEPORT, Maine - The last of seven meetings between fishery regulators and Maine lobstermen about protecting endangered whales is scheduled to take place along the state's coast.

Pat Wellenbach / AP

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.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

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.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine lobstermen will meet with state marine resources officials in Trenton Tuesday evening to consider coming regulations that could force the industry to reduce by half the amount of fixed-gear trap rope placed in the ocean.

AP Photo

Maine's Congressional delegation is weighing in on potential restrictions on lobster trap gear aimed at protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale from entanglements. The delegation says it wants to make sure new rules do not hit Maine's lobster fleet harder than others in New England.

Amy James / Center for Coastal Studies/via The Associated Press

TISBURY, Mass. - The federal government is creating a new vessel speed restriction zone off Massachusetts to try to protect rare whales.

Pat Wellenbach / AP Photo

Within a few years, Maine’s lobster harvesters will have to remove half of their trap-rope from the water. That is just one of the recommendations agreed on Friday by a broad group of stakeholders tasked with choosing measures to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale from entanglement with fishing gear.

Stakeholders from 14 states agreed Friday on recommendations for reducing the risk that endangered North Atlantic right whales will be injured or killed by entanglement with fishing gear, with big stakes for Maine’s lobster industry.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

This week a high-stakes conference in Providence is considering new measures that could help endangered North Atlantic right whales avoid life-threatening entanglements in fishing gear. These measures could also challenge Maine's lobster industry, though.

Stephan Savoia / Associated Press file

The top marine resources officials from Maine and New Hampshire, joined by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s 2nd District, are sharply criticizing the federal government’s efforts to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale and are calling for a slowdown of plans to impose new rules that could be costly for New England’s lobster fleet.

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