Tag Archives: North Atlantic right whale

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

Lobstermen confront host of problems as season gets underway

This year’s delayed lobster season kicked off with a cold, rainy spring and bait worries, but lobstermen haven’t been idle. Instead, they’ve been hunting for a way to cope with looming North Atlantic right whale protections. “The overall feeling around the docks this year is pretty glum,” said Jason Joyce of Swans Island. “Catch is low, expenses are high and (there are) stormy forecasts ahead thanks to wealthy, politically connected multinational environmental groups that have been targeting us as their latest fundraising villain.” >click to read< 09:22

Researchers regroup in wake of 4 right whale deaths

It’s been a deadly month for the endangered mammals, with the carcasses of two other whales — an adult female and a 9-year-old male — reported June 4 and June 20, also in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Photo analysis of the carcasses found Tuesday identified one as a 33-year-old male named Comet and the other as an unnamed 11-year-old female who had no documented calf, according to New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. The two carcasses were seen near the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick and west of the Magdalen Islands in Quebec, according to Canadian officials.,,, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking part in preplanned talks with the Canadian government on North Atlantic right whale protections this week in Halifax, Nova Scotia, NOAA spokeswoman Jennifer Goebel said. >click to read<20:56

Our View: Lobster gear changes not yet warranted

A plan to drastically reduce the amount of fishing line in the waters off Maine has lobstermen up and down the coast worried about their future. It is pitting small inshore operators against those who haul in deeper waters. And there’s little evidence it will work. The plan is part of an effort by federal regulators to save the North Atlantic right whale,,,, The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that fishing rope kills or seriously injures five to nine right whales a year,,, But none of the deaths has been tied conclusively to Maine lobster gear.  >click to read<09:20

“Wolverine” – Initial assessment did not reveal evidence of vessel strikes or fishing gear entanglement

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the death of a North Atlantic right whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence does not appear to be the result of a recent vessel strike or entanglement in fishing gear. A necropsy was conducted Friday on the shores of Miscou Island in New Brunswick, and the government said the initial assessment was inconclusive. The nine-year-old male known as “Wolverine” was towed there after his carcass was discovered in the Gulf on Tuesday. >click to read<10:16

Keliher gives fishermen homework on whale rules

“Feel free to yell at me,” Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), told a packed gym at the Trenton Elementary School Tuesday. “But it’s the federal government that’s driving the bus here.” Keliher was in Trenton for the first in a series of meetings with lobstermen up and down the coast to discuss specific ways for the lobster fishery to meet targets established in April by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (TRT), which works under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. >click to read<11:51

Dead right whale had survived ship strike, entanglements, is first death in Canadian waters in 2019

The dead north Atlantic right whale drifting off Quebec’s Gaspé coast had a history of entanglements and was struck by a ship, said officials with the New England Aquarium. The young whale was sighted Tuesday during an aerial surveillance flight by researchers from the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s first dead whale in Canadian waters in 2019.,,, On Wednesday, all efforts were deployed to locate the whale’s body, with planes flying over the Gulf of Saint Lawrence all day. >click to read<10:12

Mass. commercial fishermen decry offshore wind projects’ pace

If fully built out, the offshore wind farms would cover a 1,400-square-mile area larger than the Ocean State and would negatively impact marine life and fishing grounds, the group said. “Commercial fishing families, as stewards of the ocean, are concerned that a new industry is developing at a rapid pace without adequate science and risk management,” the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership stated in a release Wednesday. The fishermen’s group said Vineyard Wind is rushing the project to ensure it receives federal tax credits before they expire.,,, Wednesday’s statement from Massachusetts fishermen came as they try to reach an agreement with Vineyard Wind on a compensation package,>click to read<15:37

Daunting task begins: Reducing lobster gear to save whales

The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission met Monday outside Washington to discuss the implementation of the new rules, which are designed to reduce serious injuries and deaths among whales by 60 percent.,,, The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission met Monday outside Washington to discuss the implementation of the new rules,,,, Colleen Coogan, who coordinates the federal government team designed to protect the whales, said during the meeting that cooperating with Canadian authorities is also going to be very important. “We’ve set a pretty high bar,” Coogan said. “They’re going to have to show that their measures provide similar protections to right whales.” >click to read<08:58

North Atlantic Right Whale – New restrictions placed on New England fishing industry to protect whales

Fishermen across New England are facing new restrictions after a panel of experts convened by the federal government agreed on Friday to a plan to step up protection of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The group of federal and state officials, scientists, fishermen and environmental advocates created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration capped a four-day meeting in Providence by reaching consensus on a plan that aims to reduce entanglements in fishing gear, which is the leading cause of injuries to the whale and deaths. >click to read<18:20

New England Stakeholders Agree On Recommendations For Reducing Risk Of Right Whale Entanglements – >click to read<11:16

Regulators unveil new tool designed to help reduce right whale entanglements

Federal fisheries regulators demonstrated a new risk-assessment tool on Tuesday aimed at helping the survival of the North Atlantic right whale. It comes on the eve of regulatory decisions that could affect the fate of the endangered species — and the lobster industry, as well. Federal scientists said the new data model should help lobstermen and conservationists make collaborative decisions about reducing dangers that fishing gear poses for the endangered. >click to read<12:49

U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act regulations could impact Canadian fishers

While there were no active harvesters at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) public meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Clarenville Inn, the resource managers still discussed two topics which will affect fishers in the future — the United States’ marine mammal protection act and potential fishery monitoring policies. DFO resource manager Jackie Kean explained the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act is nothing new, it’s been around since the 1970s. However, DFO made clear that all countries who export to the U.S.A. must meet their requirements for marine mammal bycatch while fishing various species in local waters. >click to read<18:33

Time tension line-cutter could offer lobstermen a whale entanglement solution

A Maine lobsterman and machinist believes he could have the solution to North Atlantic right whale entanglement issues in the state’s lobster fishery. Ben Brickett of Blue Water Concepts presented – or more accurately re-presented – his idea for a “Time Tension Line-Cutter” at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum on 1 March. The technology, which he invented over a decade ago, provides a solution for whale entanglements that doesn’t compromise rope strength or require any electronics. >click to read<11:26

Whales and license laws top lobster industry agenda

The blowy weather that made lobster fishing a hard chance recently might well have been a blessing in disguise. The wind and cold certainly have given shorebound Maine lobstermen a good chance to learn about the tempests engulfing their industry in the Legislature and the world of fisheries regulation. Already beset by limits on how they fish — trap numbers, trawl length, the kind and strength of rope used for groundlines and buoy end lines are all regulated in the name of conservation or protecting endangered northern right whales — lobstermen are waiting to see what new rules regulators may impose on the fishery. >click to read<11:45

Efforts Underway to Reduce Lobster Fishing Gear to Help Rare Whale

Interstate fishing managers are starting the process of trying to reduce the amount of lobster fishing gear off the East Coast in an attempt to help save a declining species of rare whale. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced this month that it would consider options designed to reduce vertical lobster fishing lines in the water by as much as 40 percent. The commission said it would try to reduce the amount of gear with a combination of trap limits, seasonal closures, changes to gear configuration and other methods. The rules are under development and it will take months before they come up for public hearings. >click to read<10:45

New drive to reduce lobster fishing gear to help rare whale

Interstate fishing managers are starting the process of trying to reduce the amount of lobster fishing gear off the East Coast in an attempt to help save a declining species of rare whale. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced on Wednesday that it would consider options designed to reduce vertical lobster fishing lines in the water by as much as 40 percent. >click to read<13:48

Atlantic Lobster Board Moves Toward Reducing Rope In Effort To Save Right Whales

A consortium of Atlantic states fisheries managers is calling for broad changes to the gear lobstermen use, in an effort to reduce risks posed to the endangered North Atlantic right whale and to ward off potential federal action that could be even more challenging for the industry. At a meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council in Virginia, its lobster board voted unanimously to set in motion the process that could lead to major changes in the East Coast’s lobster industry. >click to read<12:43