Tag Archives: North Atlantic right whale

Fishing less could be a win for both lobstermen and endangered whales – they never mention ship strikes

A new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found that New England’s historic lobster fishery may turn a higher profit by operating with less gear in the water and a shorter season. The findings could provide a path forward for the lobster fishing industry, which is under pressure to move away from traditional pot fishing that uses long vertical lines of rope known to entangle and kill endangered North Atlantic right whales and other protected species. The study was published this week in the journal Marine Policy. “The story the data tells is optimistic,” says lead author Hannah Myers, a graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a guest student at WHOI. “Entanglements often cause chronic injury, stress, and even starvation if the animal doesn’t immediately drown,” says Michael Moore, a coauthor of the paper and director of WHOI’s Marine Mammal Center. >click to read<  12:06

Most likely Carnival Cruise Lines is responsible for 18+ Right Whale deaths in the past 3 year, at which rate they would soon be extinct. – >click to read<

North Atlantic Right Whale: How to kill a species with Fake News, from National Geographic of all places! – >click to read<

Gulf of St. Lawrence Fishing zones closed after North Atlantic right whale sightings

The closures of the nine grids were effective Friday at 5 p.m. Fisheries and Oceans Canada had allowed a 96-hour delay of the grid closures due to the weather forecast. All of the gear affected had to be removed from the closed area before the time of closure. All gear from any fishing season that was open at the time of the closure had to be removed including snow crab, toad crab, rock crab, lobster, whelk, Greenland halibut (fixed gear) and winter flounder (fixed gear). The closures would also be in effect for Atlantic halibut (fixed gear), mackerel (gillnet) and herring (gillnet) when gear is left unattended. >click to read< 20:22

North Atlantic Right Whale: State must secure incidental take permit within 90 days to to avoid fishery closures

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani said that Massachusetts has done the most of any state in the country to keep endangered North Atlantic right whales from becoming entangled in lobster pot and gillnet lines.,, In her April 30 decision, Talwani postponed ruling on closing fisheries, but gave the state just 90 days to obtain an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On Monday, a federal judge in Maine ruled that a similar suit could proceed, denying NOAA’s motion to dismiss. Both injunctions were brought forward by Richard “Max” Strahan, a longtime and controversial right whale activist with several prominent cases over the past two decades who sued under the Endangered Species Act. >click to read< 11:35

Court Finds American Lobster Fishery Requires Incidental Take Statement for Impacts on North Atlantic Right Whale

As commercial fisheries across the United States continue to adjust operations in the face of new legal requirements, such as the shift from single-species to ecosystem-based management, one challenge in particular has dominated the courts: the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Recent court decisions have vacated commercial longline fishing permits in federal waters off the coast of California that could endanger the Pacific leatherback sea turtle and restored prohibitions on gillnet fishing gear in a known New England feeding ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. This trend continued on April 9, when a federal district court judge in Center for Biological Diversity,,,The American lobster fishery is managed cooperatively by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and NMFS,  >click to read< 14:45

Ruling in whale case signals turmoil for lobster industry

It is too early to know exactly how the ruling in a lawsuit brought by a group of environmental organizations will affect the lobster industry. U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg asked those groups and NOAA to file briefs suggesting an appropriate “injunctive remedy” against further violations of the Endangered Species Act. Whatever that remedy may be, it is likely to come soon and have a significant impact on Maine lobstermen. During the past several months, Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher hosted a series of meetings along the coast with members of the lobster industry,, Throughout the process, Keliher warned that the pending federal lawsuit against NOAA was a “wild card” that could affect the regulatory process in undetermined ways. Last week, Keliher said that with the release of the court’s decision the wild card had been played. >click to read< 17:51

North Atlantic Right Whale: How to kill a species with Fake News, from National Geographic of all places!

“Fishing without vertical lines is what is going to save this species.“ says CT Harry of the IFAW who work hand in hand with NOAA. A ridiculous statement in view of the 18 cruise ship strikes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (GSL) in the past few years, in all of NE over 20 years. ¼ whale per year by the lobster industry. Eighteen ship strikes in the GSL over the past 3 years averages 6 per year. These people are killing 24 whales while those people kill one. by Jim O’Connell  >click to read< 13:22

   Most likely Carnival Cruise Lines is responsible for 18+ Right Whale deaths in the past 3 year, at which rate they would soon be extinct. – Human caused Right whale deaths have suddenly, in sync with a plummeting whale birthrate, put the right whale on the path to extinction. Why their birth rate, births per year, declined since a tremendous surge in 2000-2009 from 350 to 500 is unknown. In 2018 it hit bottom as no calves were born.  >click to read<

Right Whale Case Alright To Proceed Past Motion To Dismiss

The self-proclaimed activist “Prince of Whales,” Richard Strahan, received a partial victory this week in his lawsuit alleging that Massachusetts’ regulations requiring lobster fisherman to use certain gear violate the Endangered Species Act. On February 7, 2020, United States District Judge Talwani granted in part and denied in part the motion to dismiss.,,  The Court noted that these allegations do not prove that Massachusetts-regulated VBRs have killed or injured right whales, but are sufficient at the early stage in the case to survive a motion to dismiss. The Court went on to dismiss Strahan’s other two counts. >click to read< 09:58

A message from NOAA’s Chris Oliver on conservation and management efforts for North Atlantic right whales

United States and Canada Must Sustain Additional Efforts to Reduce North Atlantic Right Whale Mortalities, Serious Injuries – Last Friday, we met once again with Canadian officials to continue our bilateral focus on the conservation and protection of North Atlantic right whales. The United States and Canada have a shared interest in recovering right whales, and it is critical for both countries to take and sustain additional efforts to reduce right whale mortalities and serious injuries. >click to read< 12:27

Ørsted Forms Research Partnerships to Advance Technology for Protection and Conservation of Right Whales

The company plans to apply the project’s learnings to develop tailored processes and procedures to better protect the North Atlantic right whale during survey, construction and operation phases of their U.S. offshore wind farm portfolio. The ECO-PAM project will ensure the company can act to solve the global climate crisis, while preserving local ecosystems. >click to read< 13:00

US elected officials discuss Canadian crab embargo

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, four elected officials from Maine stand up for their state’s lobster fishing industry. They argue that measures to protect the North Atlantic right whale imposed on American fishermen for several years have saved the species from extinction, but also increased its population. However, they add, the mortality of right whales “directly related” to commercial shipping and fishing activities in Canadian waters “continues to increase”. A total of 12 right whales died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2017 and at least 9 in 2019, out of a population of around 400 individuals. >click to read<14:13

Des élus américains évoquent un embargo sur le crabe canadien>click to read<

Most likely Carnival Cruise Lines is responsible for 18+ Right Whale deaths in the past 3 year, at which rate they would soon be extinct.>click to read<

Lobstermen throw cold water on Maine state plan to protect whales

Fishermen in the heart of Maine’s $485 million lobster industry don’t like a state proposal to protect endangered right whales from buoy lines, arguing that it forces them to give up too much to fix a problem they aren’t causing.About 75 people packed a local lobster board meeting in Deer Isle on Thursday night to vent about the plan, which they argue is overly complicated, puts them in danger and is unlikely to help the species it is trying to save. >click to read< 09:40

NOAA says days-old North Atlantic right whale already injured by propeller

North Atlantic right whale researchers were thrilled to find out a fourth calf had been spotted this year. But the excitement disappeared after learning the newborn, estimated to be only days old, has been injured, according to NOAA. The American agency said in a statement Thursday the injuries “were consistent with the propeller of a vessel.” >click to read< 09:12

Maine Seeks to Aid Lobstermen as Federal Whale Protections Loom

On Friday, the state’s Department of Marine Resources released a plan it says protects the endangered whales and lobstermen, whom the feds say need to do more to prevent traps and lines from killing the whale. Maine’s suggestions include having lobstermen use ropes with weak points the whales could easily break and calls for a 25% reduction in the amount of vertical trap lines. >click to read< 08:29

Maine Plan Aims To Reduce Lobstering Impact On Right Whales – The Maine Department of Marine Resources tweaked its October proposal to balance the needs of lobstermen while protecting the whales,,, >click to read< 09:32

“This is our line in the sand,”: Facing new threats, lobstermen take hard line against right whale protections

“My administration will not allow any bureaucrat to undermine our lobster industry or our economy with foolish, unsupported, and ill-advised regulations,” Governor Janet Mills told a crowd of cheering lobstermen at a protest this summer at a protest this summer in Stonington. The backlash started shortly after a government-appointed team of scientists, fishermen, and others urged the agency to require lobstermen to reduce their buoy lines, among other measures.,, But with increasingly vocal protests across Maine’s rugged coast from rank-and-file lobstermen, the state’s leaders — including their entire congressional delegation,,,  >click to read< 12:17

Isakson’s support for right whale conservation part of broadening bipartisan effort

The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey and candidate for president. Isakson was one of two original cosponsors – the other is a Democrat from Delaware, Sen. Thomas Carper, according to the legislation. In the U.S. House, a bipartisan group co-sponsored a resolution sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Salem, Mass. Among them was Rep. Buddy Carter, a Republican who serves a district along Georgia’s coast. >click to read< 16:09

Scientists review divisive whale risk reduction model

A panel of scientists gathered in Woods Hole, Mass., last week to evaluate a controversial “decision support tool” used by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service to design proposed rules aimed at protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales and other large marine mammals from entanglement with fishing gear. Last spring, the NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (TRT) recommended that the fisheries service adopt new rules that would, among other requirements, force Maine lobstermen to remove from the water 50 percent of the vertical lines used to connect traps on the bottom to marker buoys on the surface. >click to read< 11:07

Lobstermen Question State Whale Plan at Waldoboro Meeting

Lobstermen expressed a mix of frustration and acceptance upon hearing the state’s new plan to protect North American right whales during a meeting in Waldoboro on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher presented the state’s proposed gear rules and fielded questions in the Medomak Middle School gymnasium. Photo’s >click to read< 09:55

‘Find some good solutions’: governments, experts, fishermen prepare for 2020 right whale regulations

An annual roundtable meeting held by officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has wrapped up after discussing how to deal with the declining North Atlantic right whale population. The subject has become controversial after at least nine confirmed deaths in 2019, with several preliminary findings indicating vessel strikes were the cause. Some of the deaths came despite the Canadian government cracking down tighter on fisheries closures and speed restrictions, but the impact on the fishing industry is part of what makes regulations such a controversial topic. >click to read<  08:43

Meetings this week – Lobster industry braces for right whale changes amid turbulent times

“Right now, we’re all fishing hard, so it’s taking our mind off it some, but it feels like we’ve been waiting and worrying about what whales might do to us for so long now,” said Jake Thompson, a Vinalhaven lobsterman. “We can manage the rest of it, but whales? Everybody’s worried about whales.” Lobstermen will have a chance to weigh in on Maine’s plan to protect the endangered right whale from buoy line entanglements at Maine Department of Marine Resources meetings in Ellsworth, Waldoboro and South Portland this week.  >click to read<  06:51

Federal Judge Restores Ban on Fishing Net That Entangles Whale Species

Environmentalists hoping to save the North Atlantic right whale won a federal injunction Monday banning walls of fishing net that entangle the species that has been on the brink of extinction since the 1970s. ,,  The decision by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg speared changes made by the National Marine Fisheries Service earlier this year to rules governing New England’s fisheries.  >click to read<  12:30

Opinion: Maine’s plan for lobster lines an improvement

A federal proposal to cut fishing lines off the Maine coast was dead in the water to lobstermen, who said it would put either their lives or ability to make a living at risk.,,, The federal proposal, released this summer, called on Maine to reduce the number of surface-to-seabed buoy lines by 50 percent in both state waters, which run out to three miles from shore, and federal waters,,,  lobstermen were right to be wary of the proposal. And since industry buy-in is necessary to make any plan work, the state was right to put forward its own proposal. >click to read< 16:33

Whale Deaths and Ship Strikes: The casualty of a global problem

A humpback whale was recently spotted in the River Thames near London. This unusual sighting sparked national media interest, similar to “Benny” the beluga who also called the river home for several weeks last year. However, while Benny eventually left the Thames and headed home to the Arctic, the humpback whale was not so lucky. Ironically, despite the human-interest factor, the whale died as a result of human impact. In doing so, it had the dubious honor of being the first humpback whale known to have died in UK waters from being hit by a vessel. >click to read< 08:41

New Maine proposal to protect whales, spare lobster fishing

Maine fishery regulators are unveiling a new right whale protection plan they feel will satisfy federal requirements while also preserving the state’s lobster fishery. Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher says his department’s new proposal would remove 25 percent of the lines beyond an exemption line for inshore fishermen. >click to read<17:16

Maine’s plan to protect right whales will likely affect a minority of lobstermen – “Our goal was to develop a plan that was protective of right whales but is also protective of the economic prosperity of Maine fishermen, and more importantly, for their safety,” said Commissioner Pat Keliher. “We can do that by addressing the risk where it actually occurs.” >click to read<

Senator Collins proposes changes to Federal reforms to support Maine lobster industry, protect whales

“Over the last several months, we have had a number of conversations with lobstermen, the scientific community, environmentalists, and state regulators,” Sen. Collins and the members wrote in their letter. “The message has been undeniably clear: these whales require increased protections in order to ensure the viability of the species — and that focusing all of our risk reduction efforts on Maine’s lobster fishery will not get us there.” >click to read<11:44

New Brunswick: Previously entangled right whale spotted free of gear

A North Atlantic right whale that was seen entangled in fishing gear in late June has now been spotted swimming free of any gear, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The whale was partially disentangled on July 16 by the Campobello Whale Rescue Team,,, The whale was swimming off the coast of Miscou Island on New Brunswick’s northeastern shore, according to a tweet from the department posted on Friday. >click to read< 10:29

Hundreds Of Maine Lobstermen Protest Federal Regulations At Stonington Unity Rally

Hundreds of lobstermen and their allies turned out for a unity rally in Stonington Sunday. They were protesting a federal proposal to cut by half the rope they use to haul their traps – a measure to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale from potentially deadly entanglements. Winter Harbor lobsterman Philip Torrey says the industry has adapted to numerous federally mandated gear changes over the years, and he says the latest proposal could force him to connect more traps to each of his lines, adding cost and danger to his work. >click to read< 11:49

Lobstermen and women rally against industry regulations, right whale deaths – Photo’s and a report, >click to read< 12:20

Dead right whale doesn’t appear to have been entangled in fishing gear

There is no evidence a North Atlantic right whale found dead last Thursday was entangled in fishing gear, according to initial findings. More results of a necropsy taking place today in Grand-Étang, Que., will be released Monday, and a full report is expected in a month.  A team of about 20 scientists, veterinarians and volunteers spent Sunday looking into the whale’s cause of death,,, >click to read< 21:56

Maine political leaders join lobster haulers to rally against new rules

Gov. Janet Mills and almost all of Maine’s congressional delegation will participate in a rally Sunday protesting new federal regulations aimed at protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale, but also could cause large-scale disruption in this state’s lobster industry. Maine lobstermen support protecting the whales, whose numbers have dwindled to fewer than 420 during the past decade, but say that the new regulations,,, >click to read< 12:56

With billions at stake, Canada to show U.S. its fisheries protect whales

In an effort to maintain access to the lucrative U.S. seafood market, Canada will submit a “progress report” to Washington outlining steps to protect whales and other marine mammals that interact with more than 200 Canadian fisheries. The submission will be the first test of Canada’s ability to meet upcoming requirements in the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and comes as three critically endangered North Atlantic right whales are believed entangled in fishing gear in Canadian waters. Efforts to free them are set for Tuesday, a day after Canada announced additional measures to protect North Atlantic right whales. >click to read<08:37

Mogul, wandering North Atlantic right whale, spotted off coast of France

A North Atlantic right whale that made headlines last year for his wanderlust in Iceland has decided to take a more southerly European vacation this year. Mogul, an 11-year-old male right whale, was spotted June 21 feeding off the coast of Penmarc’h, France, in the Bay of Biscay. It’s a curious spot for a young right whale to find himself, said Heather Pettis, associate scientist at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium. >click to read<12:47