Maine’s lobstermen are getting a look at new rules that will affect their fishery and are designed to protect endangered right whales.
A federal team has called for a reduction of the vertical lobster trap lines in the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk to the whales. Maine fishery officials said their latest proposal to meet the requirements would remove 25 percent of the lines, not including an exemption for lobstermen who fish inshore waters.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources is holding three meetings this week to discuss the proposal. The first is scheduled for Monday in Ellsworth, and it’ll be followed by meetings Tuesday in Waldoboro and Wednesday in South Portland.
The federal government must eventually propose formal rules to protect the whales. The whales number about 400.