Subject: Lobstermen denounce right whal (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 12:35:34 -0400 (EDT)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon,  7 Apr 97 11:44:00 GMT 
Subject: Lobstermen denounce right whal

Lobstermen denounce right whale rules

   AUGUSTA, Maine, April 4 (UPI) -- Maine's lobstermen are angrily
denouncing proposed federal rules to protect the endangered right whales
in the Atlantic Ocean.
   The new National Marine Fisheries Service rules set for publication
Monday in the federal Register have circulated in Maine all week,
provoking outrage.
   Maine Lobstermen's Association Director Patten White vowed Friday the
rules "mean there's going to be an absolute open revolt, and I'll
encourage it because those damned rules are ludicrous."
   Lobstermen say if adopted, the rules will cost their industry tens of
millions of dollars to buy new gear.
   Fewer than an estimated 300 right whales are believed to survive in
the Atlantic.
   Maine Commissioner of Marine Resources Robin Alden says the new rule
restriction "will be ineffective and devastating."
   Among the proposed rules that infuriate Maine lobstermen is one
saying buoys must be attached to nets and traps with a line that would
break at 150 pounds of pressure.
   The lobstermen also oppose a rule that would eliminate inexpensive
lighter "floating" lines from buoys to traps and among traps in a key
whale migration area, Jeffrey's Ledge off Maine's southern tip.
   Instead, heavier more expensive sinking rope would be required.
   Michael Payne of the federal fisheries Office of Protected Resources
says the rules are minimal.
   Federal authorities say fishing gear entanglements and collision with
ships are the most common threat to the whales.