Tag Archives: Cape Cod Bay

Trap Gear Closure and Speed Limit in Cape Cod Bay Lifted Today (Tuesday, May 15, 2018)

May 14, 2018 Aerial Survey shows that right whales have departed Cape Cod Bay  The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) conducted an aerial survey of Cape Cod Bay yesterday (Monday, May 14, 2018) as part of DMF’s ongoing right whale conservation efforts. Clear weather conditions allowed PCCS’ aerial survey team to complete an entire survey of the Bay and no right whales were observed in the Bay. Consequently, DMF has lifted its emergency regulatory closure on the setting of lobster traps and the speed limit of 10 knots or less on small vessels (smaller than 65’) in Cape Cod Bay effective today, Tuesday May 15, 2018. >click to read<11:03

Here’s why 12 right whales died in Canadian waters — and why more will die if nothing is done

A macabre joke in the field is that there are more North Atlantic right whale researchers than actual North Atlantic right whales. The scientific community is tight-knit: on top of the hours many of them spend sardined together on research boats and survey planes, a consortium dedicated to studying and conserving the species gathers every year for a meeting that tips further towards family reunion than your average academic conference. Still, as biologists, conservationists and policy-makers began filling an auditorium at St. Mary’s University very early on a Sunday morning in late October, the emotional register of the meeting felt unusually charged. Attendees greeted each other with bracing hugs. click here to read the story 12:27

How lobstermen gather temperature data from the bottom of the ocean

A few decades ago, Jim Manning wanted to know what was at the bottom of the sea. And after years of studying waterways on the Atlantic coast, he says he’s seen a steady change in ocean temperatures that he calls ‘unprecedented.’ Manning is an oceanographer at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He partners with lobstermen on the Northeast Shelf from Maine to New York, attaching low-cost temperature and depth loggers to some of the millions of lobster traps deployed throughout New England. The project, called eMOLT (Environmental Monitors on Lobster Traps) records and plots . click here to read the story 09:31

Trap Gear Closure Lifted; Right Whales Leaving Cape Cod Bay

The trap closure extension in Cape Cod Bay has been lifted  effective Friday May 5 because nearly all the whales that were aggregated in Cape Cod Bay have departed as expected.  DMF filed emergency regulations last week to extend the prohibition of trap gear within certain waters of Cape Cod Bay. This closure extension was enacted because in mid-April there was an unprecedented aggregation of over 200 right whales feeding on dense plankton, and more than 100 remained just days before the scheduled May 1 opening.  Feeding right whales are susceptible to entanglement in vertical buoy lines. click here to read the notice 22:55

No lobstering until right whales leave Cape Cod Bay

For the past three years there has been a ban on setting lobster traps and pots in the bay from Feb. 1 through the end of April, a ban intended to protect these whales from entanglement. Last week by some counts close to 200 of the estimated total population of 500 Atlantic Western Right Whales were still in Cape Cod Bay. Citing their endangered status and their surprising willingness to stay in the bay because of an abundance of the plankton they feed on, the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries announced that most of the bay would remain closed to setting recreational and commercial lobster traps and pots through next Sunday, May 7. For environmentalists involved in the protection of this species of whale the extended ban was a reasonable, measured action. For many lobstermen it was salt on an open wound. click here to read the story 07:56

Division of Marine Fisheries Extends Trap Fishing Gear Closure in Cape Cod Bay

As a result of the ongoing presence of endangered right whales feeding in Cape Cod Bay, the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) today announced that most of Cape Cod Bay will remain closed to the setting of recreational and commercial traps and pots for an additional week, through May 7, 2017. Right whales are common in Cape Cod Bay during late winter and early spring, especially during the months of March and April, and usually depart before May 1, when the three month (February – April) trap closure affecting this area was scheduled to be lifted. However, over the past month an unprecedented number of whales have been observed, with mid-April counts demonstrating a presence of more than 200 whales. While the most recent survey suggests some whales may have departed the Bay, an estimated 100 to 200 individuals remain present. This late seasonal presence of whales corresponds with extraordinarily high densities of plankton (Calanus copepods), the preferred food of right whales.  Read the press release here with imagery 14:43