NOAA Acknowledges Shortage of Gear to Protect Whales

North Atlantic Right Whale mother and her calf, courtesy of New England Aquarium

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government is acknowledging that supply chain issues will prevent all lobstermen from having gear needed to protect North Atlantic right whales before a May 1 deadline.

The rules will still go into effect on that date, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday it will use a “graduated enforcement effort” until supplies are resolved.

Maine’s congressional delegation and governor said they were disappointed that NOAA didn’t simply delay the rules until July 1.

The rules require lobstermen to start using weakened rope or special inserts to weaken existing rope in some waters to prevent whale entanglements.

The Associated Press

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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