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Regulators to meet with lobstermen again on right whale plan

A federal government team has called for removal of many vertical trap lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk to North Atlantic right whales.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 28, 2018 file photo, the baleen is visible as a North Atlantic right whale feeds on the surface of Cape Cod bay off the coast of Plymouth, Mass. Maine Gov. Janet Mills said in July 2019 that a federal plan to help endangered right whales at the expense of fishermen is "foolish" and is directing the state to come up with rules with a lesser impact on lobster fishermen. Maine's congressional delegation is backing the governor. North Atlantic right whales are facing the threat of extinction. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

WALDOBORO, Maine — Maine fishery regulators are planning a second round of meetings with lobstermen in the state to prepare for potential new restrictions designed to protect endangered whales.

A federal government team has called for removal of many vertical trap lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk to North Atlantic right whales, which number about 400. The Maine Department of Maine Resources held a series of meetings with lobstermen about the new rules earlier this year. The last took place in late June.

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The department says another round of meetings will concern what measures the state plans to send to the National Marine Fisheries Service to reduce the risk to the whales.

The seven meetings will run from Sept. 3 to Sept. 18 in communities along the Maine coast.