Maine lobstermen are not a threat to right whales

The voices of Maine’s lobster fishermen are being drowned in a sea of injustice. I’m determined to speak for them. U.S. District Court Judge James Boasburg’s recent ruling is the latest blow to Maine’s billion-dollar industry. Boasburg’s decision that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration violated the Endangered Species Act by authorizing the American lobster fishery despite its potential to harm the North Atlantic right whale population comes on the heels of new regulations imposed on fishermen last year. With many fishermen just starting to mark their fishing gear according to the new regulations, Boasburg’s ruling has left them in a state of uncertainty. Will this be the end of the industry as they know it? by Carol Smith, >click to read< 09:15

One Response to Maine lobstermen are not a threat to right whales

  1. Peter Mahoney says:

    Many years ago there was no evidence of Wright whales along the east coast. They thought the whalers had wiped them out. I’m not sure when the first group were sighted but when reappeared they started to track their numbers. First we heard less than 100, then 150, then 200 to 300 to 400+.
    During this growth period we as lobster fisherman experienced few encounters.
    Container ships exponentially increased bringing product to and from our ports. These ships had schedules to keep. Traveling at speeds over 20mph on autopilot tru shipping lanes outside all our major ports that Wright whales travel past, makes one wonder how many ship strikes may have occurred. If so those on board would have may not of even known.
    Another unknown that is seldom addressed is seismic testing, and its effects on these sensitive whales. Over the last 20 and maybe more years this testing has increased at an alarming rate. They set off charges, or explosions that not only penetrate the ocean depth but also 6 or more miles into the earths crust.
    It’s also a known fact that whales can communicate hundreds of miles apart.They are extremely sensitive to sound. What effect all this activity fast ferries,fast containerships, seismic sounds, etc, has is hard to weigh.
    These activities I would thInk would have more of a disturbing negative impact on these whales than a passive bouy line to a lobster trap.
    Why it’s seldom pointed out that there has been substantial increase in the whale numbers is disturbing. Those reporting only mention the recent decline. This is a result of a Canadian fishery that caught everyone by surprise..
    More studies are needed to determine more as to which marine activity is the leading cause.
    I’m a Mass lobsterman Peter Mahoney

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