Grant to help Maine lobstermen

Posted Sept. 18, 2009, at 1:30 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:57 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine lobstermen are getting some financial assistance to help them make the switch from floating to sinking rope, which is mandated under a new regulation aimed at protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales.

Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced Friday that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had awarded $1.7 million to help lobstermen make the change.

A regulation that went into effect in April outlaws the use of floating rope that connects millions of lobster traps on the ocean bottom and sometimes entangles the right whales.

Pingree said the grant will allow fishermen to turn in their old floating rope and receive vouchers to help pay for sinking lines.

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