Tag Archives: Right whale

Politics & Other Mistakes: Lobster lovers versus blubber lovers

In Maine, hardly any restaurants serve whale. For good reasons. Whales are endangered, so any chef who offers the giant mammals as the fresh catch of the day is guaranteed to incite protests, vandalism and the sort of caustic online reaction usually reserved for racist remarks from the president. Also, I have it on good authority that whale meat is very gamey. At best, it’s an acquired taste. On the other hand, right whales weigh as much as 70 tons, which means just one could supply the average sushi bar with the makings of enough gunkan maki for every hipster in Maine.,,, But the real villain isn’t Herman Melville. According to prominent environmental groups, it’s the lobster. by Al Diamon  >Click to read< 12:16

Slow response to right whale plight could have impact on Canadian fisheries

Fishermen off the U.S. east coast have confronted tight restrictions on fishing gear and vessel pace restrictions to make sure their actions don’t hurt marine mammals, together with the endangered North Atlantic proper whale. However in Canada, it was solely after proper whales started turning up lifeless in giant numbers in 2017, lots of them tangled in fishing gear and struck by vessels, that authorities introduced in emergency measures, and by then it was too late to keep away from a file variety of deaths.,,, (Sean) Brillant stated the USA legislated in 2016 >click to read< to forestall the entry into the nation of seafood that doesn’t meet strict requirements across the incidental killing of different species, together with whales. >click to read< 07:47

IFAW Officials Disappointed with Lobsterman Association’s Position on Whale Issue

The Yarmouth Port-based International Fund for Animal Welfare is expressing disappointment for the Maine Lobstermen’s Association decision to withdraw its support for the Take Reduction Team Agreement concerning right whales. The association withdrew support last week due to what it calls “serious flaws in the data” presented during the agreement process.,, The MLA review of the data also found that current whale protection measures have been effective. Changes to the right whale plan in 2009 and 2014 resulted in a strong downward trend in the incidence of entanglement cases involving U.S. lobster gear, from seven cases prior to 2010 to only one case since then. >click to read< 12:40

Maine fishing practices at center of debate about endangered right whale

Hutchings thinks the looming regulations to save the right whale, an endangered species, are only part of the problem with the industry. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing the new rules. He would like to continue fishing lobster for a few more years to be able to say he spent 50 years as a fisherman, but said he feels more financial constraints every year. “I’d hate to be a young guy starting out,” Hutchings said. “ … It (NOAA) should be more worried about the fishermen becoming extinct.” >click to read< 11:49

BOURNE: Lobstermen seek help in protecting right whales, Testimony cites burden on local industry.

Commercial lobstermen urged federal regulators Wednesday to take Canada to task for its failure to protect North Atlantic right whales and to remember that local lobstermen carrier a heavier burden of regulation than others in U.S. waters. “We as lobstermen do not want to see harm come to the right whale,” Plymouth lobsterman Tom O’Reilly said at a public forum at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, the eighth in a series of meetings held this month,,, >click to read<08:40

Lobstermen, environmentalists weigh in on right whale rules

Some of the largest and most powerful animal and environmental groups – including the Pew Charitable Trust, the U.S. Humane Society, the Conservation Law Foundation and Oceana – sent representatives to the hearing. They urged National Marine Fisheries Service to take immediate action to protect the whale, including proposals that even the team tasked by the fisheries service to come up with its whale protection plan had dismissed, such as offshore closures and ropeless lobster fishing. >click to read< 20:58

Maine’s lobster industry needs your help

A little over a week ago, we saw more than a thousand lobstermen flood the Stonington commercial pier. Almost the entire Maine delegation attended in person to demonstrate its support for lobstermen who are being unfairly targeted around the issue of right whale entanglement. Also speaking and demonstrating their support were Maine Governor Janet Mills, State Senate President Troy Jackson and several other state elected officials. by Julie Eaton >click to read< 12:10

Right whale discussion must not be trapped in political posturing

The state’s recent decision to buck the federal government, and to pursue its own assessment of the risk to right whales from lobster trap lines in the water, is warranted. Science, not politics, needs to guide this effort.,,, We’ve seen on the West Coast how legal pressure from environmental groups can close entire fisheries early, as it did for California crab this year. That does not mean Maine should roll over on the proposed federal regulations without science demonstrating that new regulations would be commensurate with the actual risk to whales posed by trap lines in Maine waters. >click to read< 08:28

SUNDAY! Lobstermen to rally in Stonington, Collins, Pingree, and Golden to speak

Maine’s top-grossing commercial fishing port will be the site of a rally this Sunday, July 21, as fishermen from across the state come together to bring attention to an issue that could affect the livelihood of lobstermen: pending National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regulations to reduce the number of vertical trap lines used by lobstermen in the Gulf of Maine. The rally will also be used to educate the public about the impact those regulations could have on Maine’s fishing fleet, said Captain Julie Eaton, a lobsterman who turned an idea into an event. “We have a voice and we need to use it now,” said Eaton. “There is big power when we come together and this is a chance for our politicians to hear our voice.”  >click to read< 18:18

The Feds Are About To Kill Maine’s Lobster Industry And Hurt Thousands Of Workers For Some Bogus Whale Regulation

Big government overreach knows no bounds. The latest example of federal regulation that will threaten thousands of jobs and livelihoods of hardworking Americas comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA says that Maine’s lobster industry is to blame for the killing of right whales, an endangered species, and has enacted regulations set to take place this September which will harm the already struggling industry. Yet, the evidence says that the proposed regulation will in no way actually help the whales and will instead only burden lobstermen. >click to read< 17:30

Right whale protections may not be enough, federal review shows

Measures taken to protect North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from being struck by ships and getting caught in fishing gear may not be enough, a scientific review by Ottawa shows.,, The review was done late last year by scientists who work in federal departments and universities across Canada, looking at data compiled by marine-mammal experts over the last three years.,, Aerial surveys estimate there were at least 190 right whales in the Gulf last year, half the total known population everywhere. (and none died) >click to read< 12:57

Immediate Action Needed to Save North Atlantic Right Whales – Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries >click to read<

Kennebunk Town Column: Invisible lines threaten lobster fishery – Lobstermen are facing the real threat of being forced out of business and a livelihood that they have relied on for many generations. >click to read<

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Blunder – Expert says feds should have acted more quickly on right whale migration

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it has sighted another dead endangered right whale drifting off the Gaspé Peninsula, bringing the total number of deaths in Canadian waters this year to six. The government was still assessing recovery and necropsy options for this sixth whale. The new information late Thursday came as an expert said Canadian officials did not respond quickly enough to this year’s migration of North Atlantic right whales. >click to read< 08:55

Transport Canada implements speed limits following death of another right whale

Transport Canada has implemented a speed restriction for vessels in the western part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence following yet another death of the endangered North Atlantic right whale on Wednesday. Fisheries and Oceans Canada confirmed a right whale was found dead on the shores of Anticosti Island near the Gulf of St. Lawrence, bringing the number of recent deaths up to five. Scientists are on scene collecting samples for analysis, and working with various partners to assess necropsy options, said a news release from the fisheries department. >click to read<18:07

Jared Golden asks feds to delay fishing restrictions that aim to protect whales

U.S. Rep Jared Golden, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 2nd District, on Tuesday asked federal officials to reconsider regulations meant to protect North Atlantic right whales. Maine lobstermen say the proposed changes would significantly harm their livelihoods. Golden said in a release that he is “deeply troubled” by the manner the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (TRT) plans to reduce right whale mortality by 60 percent to 80 percent, and by “the impact its actions may have on the future viability of our lobster fleet.” >click to read<22:50

Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team to Focus on Right Whale Survival This Week

On April 23, a group of approximately 60 fishermen, scientists, conservationists, and state and federal officials will come together to discuss ways to further reduce serious injury and mortality of endangered North Atlantic right whales caused by trap/pot fishing gear. The group will meet in Providence, Rhode Island for four days. At the end of the meeting, they hope to agree on a suite of measures that will reduce right whale serious injuries and deaths in fishing gear in U.S. waters from Maine to Florida to less than one whale per year, the level prescribed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. >click to read<10:01

Keating Co-Sponsors Save Right Whales Legislation, – Saving Right Whale Demands New Approach

Today, Congressman Bill Keating was an original cosponsor of the Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (SAVE) Right Whales Act. The legislation is sponsored by Congressmen Seth Moulton (MA-06) and John Rutherford (FL-04). The other original cosponsors are Jared Huffman (CA-02) and Rep. Bill Posey (FL-08).,, The SAVE Right Whales Act of 2019 would create government grants that states, non-profits, and members of the fishing and marine shipping industries can use to fund research and efforts that restore the North Atlantic right whale population. An interesting list at the bottom of the page. >click to read< 16:35

From Pew – Saving Endangered Right Whale Demands New Approach ->click here<

All right whales survived visit to Canadian waters last year

No North Atlantic right whales died in Canadian waters in 2018, so protective measures will continue, a Fisheries spokesperson says. The year free of deaths means the protective measures implemented last year are working, said Adam Burns, director general for fisheries resource management with Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “In 2018 there were at least as many North Atlantic right whales in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence as there were in 2017, when we had all of those incidents, and we continued to have fishing activity in those same areas,” Burns said. In 2017, the death toll came to 18. Twelve of the whales died in Canadian waters. >click to read<14:17

Lobster industry blasts proposed regulations intended to protect whales

Maine officials and members of the state’s lobster industry are blasting a new federal report on the endangered right whale, claiming it uses old science to unfairly target the fishery for restrictions.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources, the agency that regulates the $434 million lobster fishery, and the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, the trade group representing Maine’s 4,500 active commercial lobstermen, question the scientific merits of the report from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, which was issued in advance of next week’s meeting of a federal right whale protection advisory team. “They’re painting a big target on the back of the Maine lobster industry, but the picture isn’t based on the best available science,” DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher said Thursday. >click to read<09:34

Defenders of right whales pursue limits on aquaculture and fixed gear fisheries

Right whale defenders are now taking aim at aquaculture as they try to protect the highly endangered species from deadly fishing gear entanglements. Advocates usually focus on the lobster industry,,,Right whale defenders are now taking aim at aquaculture as they try to protect the highly endangered species from deadly fishing gear entanglements. Advocates usually focus on the lobster industry,,, Researchers from Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a U.K.-based nonprofit that advocates for marine animals, want regulators to reduce surface-to-seabed lines in all Gulf of Maine fisheries, not just lobstering. They name aquaculture and gill net as rope-based fishing methods that are known to entrap, injure and kill both humpback and right whales. They say it’s not fair for regulators, who are meeting next week, to seek rope reduction from lobstermen while issuing permits for other fisheries that use similar rope. >click to read<20:40

EDITORIAL: All aboard for saving right whales

There are good reasons why there haven’t been any right whale deaths in waters around the Atlantic provinces this year. It’s due to a combination of good luck and good management. Last year, an alarming number of endangered whales died — 13 in Canadian waters and five more off the U.S. The bodies of another two whales have shown up in American waters this year, while several whale rescues from entanglements were carried out in the Bay of Fundy.,,, Something had to be done. Last year, Ottawa ordered ships to reduce speed in Atlantic waters to help the slow-moving marine mammals avoid collisions. Fishermen were asked to reduce rope and other gear in the water to lessen the chances of entanglements. >click to read<15:22

Booker, Carper, Nelson Introduce Bicameral Bill to Establish Grant Program for Right Whale Conservation

U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), along with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Booker is a member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Carper is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Nelson is the top Democrat on the Senate’s Commerce Committee, which oversees ocean policy. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), along with Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Bill Keating (D-MA), has introduced a companion measure in the House of Representatives. >click to read<18:46

New Brunswick lobster fishermen anxious as start of season keeps getting delayed

Lobster fishermen in northern New Brunswick are increasingly worried about the fishing season, as they see delay after delay because of the conditions. The official start date was April 30, but the ice in many harbours, along with strong winds, has made it too dangerous to go out. The date has already been pushed back twice, and fishermen will only find out after a meeting Friday whether the season will start next week or be delayed once more. >click to read<16:29

New England Senators Threaten Trade Action Against Canada Over Right Whale Protections

A group of New England senators is calling on the U.S. government to speed up an analysis of Canada’s efforts to protect the endangered North American right whale, and to consider trade action if Canada’s rules do not prove as strong as in the U.S.,, Now they’re calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to investigate whether fishermen in Canada are being held to similar standards. If not, they say, then NOAA should consider barring the import of Canadian seafood from the relevant fisheries. “It’s really a double-edged sword,” says Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. >click to read>19:12

Endangered species

The federal government’s decision to extend rules protecting right whales to P.E.I.’s lobster fishermen sent waves of anxiety through the industry this week. The fishermen were reacting not only to the poor timing of the decision – coming just days before the lobster season’s opening on May 1 – but, more urgently, the prospect that their livelihood may dwindle if a right whale is spotted near a fishing vessel.,,, If our fishermen can’t prosper with their catch, it means fewer jobs at the Island’s processing facilities that employ hundreds. The effects trickle down from there, from the suppliers to lobster pounds to grocery stores, the tourism industry and eventually to all of us as consumers. >click to read<19:56

Senators push for federal assessment of right whale deaths from fisheries in Canada

Eleven Democratic senators are asking the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct an urgent assessment of the impacts to the endangered North Atlantic right whale from fisheries in Canada. The senators led by Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey said fishing communities across New England have worked to reduce impacts on marine mammals. Markey said last year most observed right whale deaths were in Canadian waters. >click to read<16:35

Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries has enacted two right whale emergency regulations

The Division of Marine Fisheries has enacted two emergency regulations to protect vulnerable aggregations of endangered northern right whales in Cape Cod Bay. These regulations, effective immediately, are designed to reduce the risk of collisions with vessels and entanglements.  Extension of Trap Gear Closure The existing February 1 – April 30 Large Whale Trap Gear Closure is being extended through Sunday, May 6 for a portion of Cape Cod Bay. >click to read<22:34

1996: Calving of right whales faces new threats – Today: Lobstermen fear Right whale extinction threat is being overstated

The math of protecting right whales from extinction is scary stuff: The stakes are high, scientific opinion varies and some rescue plans could make it impossible for lobstermen to earn a living. Getting that math right matters when the futures of right whales and Maine’s lobster industry are so closely intertwined. Right whale numbers have dwindled to about 450 because of deadly ship strikes, fishing gear entanglements and low birth rates, while Maine’s lobster industry is the backbone of the state’s coastal economy, raking in about $434 million from landings in 2017 and generating another $1 billion for Maine in post-dock revenues. >click to read<08:56

1996: Calving of right whales faces new threats -,,, Scientists have sighted 20 calves, a record after years of falling counts. Only 320 or so of the behemoths now ply the North Atlantic.,,,at times getting hit. Other whales get entangled in fishing gear. But scientists say the roots of the problem go beyond such incidents and are increasingly a grim mystery, prompting a redoubling of protective efforts and detective work. >click to read<

John Bullard’s Right whale challenge angers lobstermen

Bullard may have left behind the daily responsibilities of running the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, but he took his bully pulpit with him. On Monday, he published an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe challenging the U.S. commercial lobster industry — predominately based in Maine and Massachusetts, where Gloucester and Rockport are the top ports — to take the lead in trying to head off the extinction of the North Atlantic right whales. While he also carved out a role for scientists, non-governmental organizations and fishery managers in the hunt for solutions, Bullard’s emphasis on the lobster industry did not sit well with local lobstermen, who believed their industry was being singled out. >click to read<19:02

The Room Erupted! Tensions flare at suggestion snow crab fishery close for whales

Fishermen erupted in anger Wednesday when federal officials proposed banning snow crab fishing in a large zone off the coast of New Brunswick for the entire time endangered whales are there.
The proposal came at a meeting that industry and government officials hold every year to discuss the coming snow crab season in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. This year’s season is of particular importance after a deadly 2017 for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Gear used in snow crab fishing is believed to have played a role in some of the whale deaths, with necropsies on three whales revealing signs of entanglement in fishing rope. >click to read< 00:27

“The Plight of the Right Whale” – What’s causing right whale decline?

There is no argument that the North Atlantic Right Whale is in dire straits. Dr. Mark Baumgartner, a biologist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, gave a compelling presentation on “The Plight of the Right Whale” this past Tuesday evening, Jan. 23, at the Vineyard Gazette office. Since it was advertised, it was well attended. One point of interest was that the right whales were making a healthy comeback, a two-decade period of modest annual growth; the population rebounded from 270 living whales in 1992 to 483 in 2010. From 2010,,, >click here to read< 21:12