PORTLAND, MAIN (AP) – American lobster farming is approaching the date when it will have to contend with new rules designed to save whales from extinction.
The number of right-wingers in the North Atlantic reaches only 360 և Scientists say that the small female population of animal breeding can judge the species. The National Maritime Fisheries Service is developing new rules to reduce the likelihood of entanglement in fishing gear that could destroy the whales.
According to the court decision, the fishing service demanded to finalize the rules by May 31. The agency is going to work out the final rules in time, said Jennifer Goebbels, spokeswoman.
Whale protection rules will focus on crayfish and shrimp fishing in the northeast, reducing the number of vertical lines in the water, the federal government has said. It will also change seasonally restricted areas and make other changes, the government said.
The forthcoming restrictions have sparked a heated debate among environmentalists and lobster fishermen over how to save the whale. Cancer fishing groups say overly restrictive rules could keep them out of business.
The Maine Lobstermen Association said the industry has “a long history of protecting large crab stocks.”
Many environmentalists, meanwhile, say the proposed rules do not go far enough.
“After all, the bottom line is that we do not think it’s enough to save the species,” said Michaela Morris, of the Oceania Association for Environment America. “They are not going to get us where we need to be if the rule is finalized, as it is written right now.”
The Fisheries Service accepts comments on the proposed rules by March 1. It is holding public hearings on the proposed rules in New England, including one in South Maine on February 23 and one in North Maine on February 24.
Right whales were hunted almost to extinction during commercial whaling. They are vulnerable to threats such as collisions with large ships and the warming of the ocean due to climate change.