The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published final rules amend regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. This action will change the minimum number of traps per trawl to allow fishing with a single trap in certain Massachusetts and Rhode Island state waters; and modifies the requirement to use one endline on trawls within certain areas in Massachusetts state waters. Also, this rule creates a 1⁄4 mile buffer in waters surrounding certain islands in Maine to allow fishing with a single trap. In addition, this rule includes additional gear marking requirements for those waters allowing single traps as well as two new high use areas for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).
Click here to read NMFS’ Federal Register notice of this action.