Nov. 22, 2021

SUFB 1238: Lobster fishing vs protecting the North Atlantic Right Whale

SUFB 1238: Lobster fishing vs protecting the North Atlantic Right Whale

The North Atlantic Right whale's population dipped from 366 to 336 from 2019 to 2020 making it the lowest it has been in 20 years. Whale entanglement is the leading culprit in the North Atlantic Right Whale's mortality off the coast of Maine. Lobster...


The North Atlantic Right whale's population dipped from 366 to 336 from 2019 to 2020 making it the lowest it has been in 20 years. Whale entanglement is the leading culprit in the North Atlantic Right Whale's mortality off the coast of Maine. Lobster fishing gear tends to be the gear that entangles the whales. 

A court recently ruled on whether the government should implement a 4-month ban on offshore lobster fishing in Maine to protect migrating North Atlantic Right whales that travel through the area. The court ruled against the ban on lobster fishing to protect the $1.4 billion fishing industry citing the data presented by the government was not sufficient enough to show a risk to the whale population in the area. The government is appealing the decision. 

Conservationists are calling for more collaborations between conservations and fishers to help make new technologies safer and more affordable gear (such as lineless lobster traps.

Link to article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/12/maine-lobster-fishers-fight-conservationists-entangled-whales?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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