Mass. Lobstermen Propose To Use "Ropeless" Traps, Protects Right Whales

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GLOUCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A proposal from Massachusetts lobstermen may net them the ability to practice commercial lobster fishing without buoy lines for the first time in state waters.

The proposal detailed that ropeless fishing traps would spare any North Atlantic right whales from getting entangled in lines on the east coast. As it stands, lobstermen have been barred from collecting lobster in waters offshore while right whales are feeding, or until May.

But Secretary Treasurer of the Mass. Lobstermen's Association David Casoni said that the potential equipment change would be detrimental to the wallets of lobstermen statewide.

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"If they were to try and mandate that, it would cost the average lobsterman about $800,000 to equip and set this gear out- that seems a little too much," Casoni

The proposal was brought to a public hearing and was titled "A Thoughtful Co-Existence."

"Obviously you have a great creature on the road to potential extinction- and nobody wants a major species to go extinct on their watch," Casoni said.

No decision on the proposal's acceptance has been made at the time of posting.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports.

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