While reading the Mount Desert Islander a few weeks ago, I noticed the front page of their Maritime section had two headlines describing a feud between local lobstermen and the National Marine Fisheries Service and other North Atlantic right whale activist groups. Conflict between the groups peaked in 2021 when it was announced that LMA 1, a 967-square-mile area of offshore fishing, would be annually closed from October 1 through January 31 to help prevent endangered North Atlantic right whales from getting entangled in the lobstermen’s fishing gear (“Frequently Asked Questions - LMA 1 Restricted Area”). LMA 1 stretches from west of Mount Desert Island to Casco Bay, so this will drastically reduce the number of vertical lobster fishing ropes on the Maine coast. But for the lobstermen in the designated area, this will cut off a third of their season, which ends in late December, and they will now be required to use ropeless traps and to get an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) directly from NOAA. On top of that, on August 31, NOAA announced a set of new fishing regulations for lobster and Jonah crab fishing. The regulations will require fishermen to improve how they mark their fishing gear, so that their traps can be better identified, and traps will need to use weaker lines, so that entangled whales can break free (Ferreira 2021). These new regulations will be costly and may put many multigenerational lobstermen out of business, if they are unable to comply.

Publicado el octubre 17, 2021 04:18 MAÑANA por jack80156 jack80156


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