NOAA Public Hearing on Proposed Whale Rule

Date: February 24, 2021

Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Location: Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/266620986458633996

Town: NA

As a reminder, NOAA Fisheries has scheduled public hearings on February 23rd and 24th on the Proposed Rule to consider amendments to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan.

Comments will be accepted at these public hearings, listed below, and through the regulations.gov website by going to:regulations.gov. Search for NOAA-NMFS-2020-0031. Choose "Comment Now" to submit your comments.

Comments are due by March 1, 2021

The hearings are scheduled as follows:

Time: 6:30 pm-8:30 pm (We recommend logging on early - you may join at 6 pm)

You must pre-register to participate.

These are virtual hearings, so register early to ensure access to this webinar. If you cannot attend these meetings, they will be recorded and available online at fisheries.noaa.gov/ALWTRP.

Tuesday, February 23 Southern Maine, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm

Registration:https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4167147282087010060

Wednesday, February 24 Northern Maine, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm

Registration:https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/266620986458633996

The measures in the Proposed Rule are intended to achieve at least a 60% reduction in mortalities or serious injury of right whales in the Northeast lobster and crab trap/pot fisheries.

The Proposed Rule addresses a series of management measures to reduce risk: modifying gear marking to introduce state-specific colors and increase marking frequency (implemented in Maine state regulations Sept. 2020); introducing weak insertions or weak rope into vertical lines; increasing trawl lengths, and also suggests an LMA 1 Restricted Area (Oct.-Jan.).

To help you understand the comment process and to provide answers to frequently asked questions, we have provided the attached informational document. This same document is also available on the Maine DMR website.

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