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The Maine Lobstermen's Association “has been closely following the death of Right Whale 5120 found dead on Martha’s Vineyard on January 28th. The MLA was shocked and dismayed when NOAA Fisheries announced on February 14th that the rope removed from the deceased whale 'is consistent with the rope used in Maine state water trap/pot buoy lines.’”

“Maine lobstermen have made many changes to how we fish to avoid harming a Right whale which makes this news hard to believe. As we move forward, MLA will push back on NOAA’s finding until the industry’s questions about the entanglement and how NOAA reached its conclusion are answered. We are sharing with you what we have learned so far.

“Maine Department of Marine Resources says it viewed the gear removed from the whale on February 14th, before NOAA made its announcement. DMR’s team of experts included Commissioner Keliher, Colonel Alan Talbot, Captain Colin McDonald, and Boat Specialist Evan Whidden. These Marine Patrol officers regularly check a wide range of lobster gear fished by Maine lobstermen and are very familiar with how it is rigged to comply with whale regulations. The DMR team concluded that the gear found on the carcass is consistent with Maine lobster gear. However, the DMR disagreed with NOAA that the gear originated from state waters citing a lack of evidence to make a determination on where it was set because too much of the gear had been lost.”


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