Re examine the data of North Atlantic right whale entanglements and the Fishery closure

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  Currently there is a 3.5 month Massachusetts state water lobster fishery closure. Commercial lobster fisherman  feel like we have been taking the brunt of blame on right whale deaths in recent years. The fact is that our lobster gear (bouy lines) have not caused any documented right whale deaths ever. Over the past 20 years there have been  two known entanglements and both of those animals were freed. We are suffering the guilt by association of fishing vertical lines much like the snow crab fishery in the Gulf of St Lawrence where the majority of these entanglements have taken place.

    There is no greater ambassador to the oceans than the New England lobster fisherman. We have fished a viable and thriving fishery for decades. It’s strongly due to the fact that many more juvenile lobsters are released than legal lobsters are kept . As well as great care in the release of egg bearing females.

    Our side must be heard and the public needs to know that we are not rapists of the ocean nor harming whales. This closure is pointless and will not help a single whale because these waters are not where the problem lies. All it’s doing is putting hundreds of small businesses in distress. Let’s find the correct solution to help the whales and not hurt the lives of fisherman and the fishing communities in the process.