NOAA Extends Limit on Fishing to Protect Whales

HYANNIS – The federal government has extended a ban that prohibits lobster and crab fishing in certain areas off of the coast of Massachusetts in an attempt to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.

Trap and pot fishermen must remove all gear within the Massachusetts Restricted Area through April 30, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

It includes Cape Cod Bay as well as waters to the east of the Outer Cape and Nantucket. New gear cannot be placed in the zone, while trawls cannot be reset.

NOAA sites the risk of fishing gear entanglements the whales face as reasoning behind the decision.

The federal government says those incidents, along with vessel strikes, are major factors as to why there are fewer than 350 right whales estimated to be remaining.

The whales are known to travel to Cape Cod Bay each winter.

It’s the latest development between fishing groups and NOAA; the Maine Lobstering Union dropped a lawsuit against the organization over fishing regulations aimed at protecting the whales this past summer.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy