Whale-Safe Lobster Buoys Rules Upset Lobstermen
July 8, 2014
BangorDailyNews.com: Federal fisheries officials have issued the final version of a new rule aimed at protecting whales from getting entangled in fishing lines that connect surface buoys to traps on the ocean bottom.
The rule requires lobstermen to use multiple traps with each buoy (gear configurations called “trawls”), when fishing beyond a designated exemption line off the Maine coastline. The exempted area encompasses about 70 percent of Maine state waters. Beyond that exemption line, however, the minimum number of traps required per vertical line ranges from two to 15 depending on how far out from shore the traps are set.