NOAA’s Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team, the advisory committee that makes recommendations on fisheries’ impacts on the North Atlantic right whale, has endorsed a steep reduction in lobster trap lines to reduce whale entanglements and mortality rates. In some areas, the proposal calls for a 50 percent reduction in vertical lines, the ropes that are attached to traps so that lobstermen can recover their gear and their catch.
Right whales sometimes become entagled in vertical lines, leading to physical impairment and/or death. The endangered whale’s numbers have been dwindling for years, and only about 410-450 are believed to remain in the wild. Read on.