Maine Submits Right Whale Proposal to NMFS


Whale in Gulf of Maine Taken by Underwater Photographer Keith Ellenbogen.

Earlier this month, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has submitted a proposal for regulatory changes to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in advance of role making.

The proposal includes measures which reduce the presumed risk of an entanglement by North Atlantic right whales in lobster gear from occurring and minimize the potential of serious injury and mortality in the event an entanglement occurs.  The proposal also includes measures that improve the data collected about the Maine lobster fishery which will enable regulates to develop more targeted, effective measures in the future.  The proposal includes a provision which allows Maine the flexibility to develop regional measures that achieve conservation benefits equivalent to those in the plan.  This was included in recognition of the unique fishing practices, differing oceangraphic conditions and safety concerns along Maine’s coast.

DMR sought input from industry in ten public meetings over the summer.

For a copy of the plana, visit Maine’s DMR lobster webpage.