FREEPORT, Maine — The last of seven meetings between fishery regulators and Maine lobstermen about protecting endangered whales is scheduled to take place along the state's coast.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is holding the meeting with lobstermen in Freeport on Thursday. It's the last of a series of meetings recently between the department and the state's seven Lobster Management Zone Councils.

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A team assembled by the federal government has called for the removal of half the vertical trap lines from the Gulf of Maine. The reason for the reduction is to protect North Atlantic right whales, which are critically endangered.

The department is meeting with the fishermen to start the effort of crafting rules that better protect the whales. Lobstermen are concerned about potential harm to the industry.