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Lobster industry anxiously awaits new right whale protection guidelines

Lobster fishing groups are closely monitoring the recommendations of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team.

A group organized by the federal government is expected to release recommendations Friday about how to better protect a vanishing species of whale in the Atlantic Ocean.

RELATED: Accidental deaths of endangered whale threatens its survival

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration created the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team to help reduce the injuries and deaths the whales suffer due to entanglement in fishing gear.

Lobster fishing groups are closely monitoring the team's discussions because new rules could mean new restrictions on the lucrative East Coast lobster fishery.

The North Atlantic right whale population counts only about 411 individuals, and its numbers have fallen by dozens in this decade.

RELATED: Entanglement likely killed 43-foot-long right whale found off Maine

The group has said it wants to reduce right whale mortalities that are caused by fisheries by more than 60%.

RELATED: Endangered whale experiencing mini-baby boom off New England