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Lobstermen join with Maine pols to oppose whale rules

July 22, 2019

STONINGTON, Maine (AP) — A group of Maine lobstermen that has the backing of the state’s Congressional delegation is pushing back at a plan to protect endangered whales with new fishing regulations.

A federal team has called for the removal of half the vertical trap lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk to North Atlantic right whales. Lobstermen from the Maine coast gathered with three members of the delegation and Democratic Gov. Janet Mills in Stonington on Sunday to make the case the new rules would put an unfair burden on a key state industry.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, who attended the rally, says right whales need help, but the government’s “one-size-fits-all risk reduction” approach might not be the best way. The whales number about 400 and have experience high mortality recently.

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