One of the biggest issues facing the industry is the plight of the North Atlantic right whale. With 18 deaths in 2017, pressure is on the industry to make changes. The MLA has been working on this issue since 1997 with the formation of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team. Over the past 20 years, Maine lobstermen have implemented many measures to protect whales (graphic below). A detailed summary of Maine’s whale rules is below. In 2002, the MLA documented the gear used in the lobster fishery and how it differs along the coast in “Lobster Pot Gear Configurations in the Gulf of Maine” (below). While much of the recent media coverage has been one-sided and inaccurate, the Portland Press Herald’s April 2018 article provides a more balanced perspective. You can read the story HERE. Note that the 2018 right whale mortality found in US waters died due to entanglement in Canadian snow crab gear.