Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, August 29, 2019 and The Weekly Packet, August 29, 2019
DMR postpones Zone C Lobster Council meeting
by Anne Berleant
A meeting of the Zone C Lobster Council tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 28, has been postponed, the Maine Department of Marine Resources announced August 27. The announcement came on the heels of a previous press release rescheduling the meeting to September 16.
“At this time, DMR is advising the industry that the entire schedule of meetings is currently on hold. The Commissioner regrets the delays but wants to ensure that we develop a proposal for submission to NMFS that reflects a thorough review of all data,” the press release states.
The DMR is analyzing data that will be used to help draft a plan to reduce risk to right whales that Maine will submit to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is drafting rules to reduce right whale entanglement in vertical trap lines by up to 50 percent, and New England states have been tasked with drafting plans to achieve that goal.
Maine lobstermen and the DMR are working to devise a state plan while also arguing that the data and science behind the proposed line reduction doesn’t support whale entanglements in the Gulf of Maine, especially in-shore.
For more information on the issue confronting Maine Lobstermen, see penobscotbaypress.com/news/archives/2019/lobstermen-right-whales-and-noaa-archive/.