Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission Bans Inshore Lobstering During Whale Migration

The Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission on Thursday approved additional protections for the endangered North Atlantic right whales, including a three-and-a-half month trap gear closure throughout state waters and mandated use of weaker buoy lines.

Meeting via webinar, the MFAC overwhelmingly approved five of the six recommendations presented by the state Division of Marine Fisheries, setting the stage for a hectic start to the state’s 2021 lobster fishing season.

“We think this is surgical and appropriate,” DMF Director Dan McKiernan told commission members. “We believe this is the most responsible way to manage this fishery.”

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