October 20, 2019
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Maine regulators to meet with lobstermen again about new whale rules

Fred Bever | Maine Public
Fred Bever | Maine Public
Steuben lobsterman Mike Sargent, seen after an August meeting with federal fisheries regulators in Machias, might have to remove half his rope from the water to protect endangered right whales.

Maine regulators are working on a new slate of meetings with the state’s lobstermen to discuss potential new whale protection rules that could impact the fishery.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is developing a proposal for the federal government about how to better protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. It had scheduled several meetings with lobstermen about the proposal for this month, but has temporarily put them on hold.

[Dead endangered whale found south of New York’s Long Island]

Department spokesman Jeff Nichols said a revised schedule will be out after regulators have had a chance to develop a proposal that reflects “another review of all data.”

The whales number about 400 and are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear. A federal government team has called for removal of many vertical trap lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk.

Related: This right whale gets partially disentangled off Cape Cod


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