Maine Plan Aims to Reduce Lobstering Impact on Right Whales

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s proposal for protecting endangered right whales from entanglements in lobster gear would maintain the status quo for the number of trap lines in inshore waters where most traps are located while reducing the number of lines farther offshore, officials said Friday.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources submitted the proposal to the federal government, which plans to issue new rules in the spring or summer for protecting North Atlantic right whales. The whales number only about 400 and are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear.

The proposal would make no reductions to vertical lines in an inshore area that comprises more than two-thirds of state waters, while total vertical trap lines would be reduced farther offshore.

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