The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has formally announced that more risk-reduction measures are needed to reduce endangered Atlantic Right Whale entanglements in gillnets and lobster or crab pot lines.
To that end, NOAA said in a notice published this past week:
“The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) intends to begin a rulemaking process to amend the Plan to further reduce the risk of mortalities and serious injuries of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) and other large whales caused by incidental entanglement in commercial trap/pot and gillnet fisheries along the U.S. East Coast.”
“This action is needed because the right whale population is in steep decline, incidental entanglement in U.S. commercial fisheries is one of the causes of serious injuries and mortalities to right whales, and the estimated level of serious injuries and mortalities in U.S. fisheries exceeds the level allowed under the [Marine Mammal Protection Act].”
Check out the full notice here.