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Public Hearings to be Held on Proposed Measures to Reduce Whale Entanglement

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will be holding 4 public hearings in Maine on August 5 - 8, 2013 as an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on proposed conservation measures intended to reduce the risk of serious injury and mortality of large whales due to entanglements in vertical lines.

As a result of public input received in the summer of 2011, NMFS developed six alternatives to into its Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. The alternatives under consideration seek to reduce large whale entanglement by increased traps per trawl, requiring gear marking and the use of weak links and/or vertical lines of lower breaking strength. These changes are designed to address right, humpback, and fin whale entanglements resulting in serious injury or mortality. After considering comments received on the alternatives, NMFS will select one of the alternatives for implementation in the final rule.

Schedule of hearings:

  • August 5th, 6-9 pm
    University of Maine at Machias
    Science Building
    116 O'Brien Avenue
    Machias, ME

  • August 6th, 6-9 pm
    Ellsworth Public Library
    20 State Street
    Ellsworth, ME

  • August 7th, 6-9 pm
    Oceanside East High School
    400 Broadway
    Rockland, ME

  • August 8th, 6-9 pm
    City Hall
    389 Congress Street,
    State of ME room
    Portland, ME

Click here for NOAA’s Vertical Line Information (including the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Rule):

• A Draft Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the impacts of the proposed measures is available for review and comment until September 13, 2013.

• The comment period on the proposed rule closes on September 16, 2013.