Tag Archives: ease access to restricted area

Mass. lobstermen press pols to ease access to restricted area protecting endangered whales

lobsterBay State lobstermen want federal fishing regulators to work with them to ease restrictions on lobstering in Massachusetts Bay and two areas east of the South Shore, proposing new safety measures that would allow boats to continue to operate while also protecting endangered whales. Local lobstermen and leaders of the South Shore Lobster Fisherman’s Association met Wednesday at the State House with legislators and representatives for members of the state’s Congressional delegation to discuss their pitch for preventing whale entanglements without having to remove all traps from February through April. John Haviland, president of the association who lobsters out of Green Harbor, said lobstermen are proposing to open three sections – representing a fraction of the larger 2,965 square nautical mile restricted area – for parts of the three-month ban as long as traps are retrofitted with sleeves for their vertical lines that would break every 40 feet under 1,575 pounds of pressure. Haviland said the line-safety improvement proposal is based on research done by the New England Aquarium and Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute showing that right whales would be as much as 85 percent less likely to become entangled in lines engineered to break at those specifications. Read the story here 11:24