May 29, 2019
Washington, D.C. —Yesterday, in a letter to Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Dr. Neil Jacobs, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Jared Golden (D-ME) expressed their concern about the ongoing North Atlantic right whale take reduction efforts and their significant impact on the Maine lobster industry. The delegation urged National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) leadership to ensure that the science they are relying on is sound and comprehensive, the risk reduction standards are equitable across U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions, and the industry is included and consulted throughout the decision-making process.
“As you are aware, Maine fisheries officials and stakeholders have been actively engaged on the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team and in correspondence with NOAA Fisheries, with the primary objective of providing the most relevant data possible to ensure that the resulting measures target areas of high risk and yield conservation benefits possible for right whales,” wrote the members of the Maine Delegation. “We have been closely monitoring these developments and appreciate the opportunity to raise with you some concerns that are of great ecological and economic importance.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with your agency toward a science-informed and equitable solution that protects the fragile right whale population without unfairly or disproportionately burdening the Maine lobster industry,” continued the Maine Delegation.
The letter raises several concerns with NOAA’s Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, including:
Click HERE to read the letter.