January 17, 2020
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Maine lobster fishing group withdraws support of right whale agreement

Michael Dwyer | AP
Michael Dwyer | AP
A North Atlantic right whale feeds on the surface of Cape Cod bay off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, March 28, 2018.

An organization that represents Maine’s lobster fishermen is pulling support of a proposed plan to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The subject of right whale conservation has been a major source of contention in Maine’s lobster fishery. There are only about 400 of the whales, which are prone to entanglement in fishing gear.

[Here’s the central question at the heart of the right whale debate]

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association said it has taken a closer reading of the science behind the plan, which a federal team recommended in April. The association’s executive director, Patrice McCarron, said federal data show the lobster fishery is, in fact, “the least significant cause of right whale serious injury or mortality.”

Adoption of the plan is likely to result in reduction of lobster fishing lines in the water. McCarron said it would put too much of the onus on the lobster industry.

Related: This right whale gets partially disentangled off Cape Cod

 



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