Cheri Patterson: (603) 868-1095
Renee Zobel: (603) 868-1095
January 13, 2020

DURHAM, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will be holding a meeting with the lobster fishing industry to present a draft proposal to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Division on vertical line risk reduction to meet the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team’s consensus on reducing interactions with North Atlantic right whales to prevent serious injury or mortality. The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2020, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, NH.

The North Atlantic right whale is the world’s most endangered large whale species and is protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. The population has been in decline since 2010, which is attributed to both human-induced causes, such as fishing gear entanglements and collisions with ships, as well as low species birth rates. Studies have shown that 85% of the right whales have been entangled in fishing gear at least once.

This meeting will present a draft proposal from New Hampshire to NOAA Fisheries on how to meet the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team’s consensus decision to reduce risk to right whales from the New Hampshire’s lobster fishing industry’s vertical lines in both state and federal waters.