Message to Maine Lobster Harvesters from Commissioner Keliher Regarding Federal Whale Rules

Dear Maine Lobstermen,

As you all know, new requirements for gear marking, weak rope and inserts, and trawl lengths go into effect May 1, 2022 under the 2021 modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan.

The Department of Marine Resources has published information on each requirement on its website, with illustrations and maps that can be downloaded and printed if needed. Select the links below for detailed information and downloadable illustrations.

Gear Marking Requirements

Trawl Length Requirements

Weak Rope and Insert Requirements

We recognize that Maine's lobster industry has struggled to find the gear to comply with the new federal regulations. And as always with new regulations, Marine Patrol will be working to help harvesters, through communications and education, understand the new rule and find workable solutions to come into compliance.

We urge fishermen to reach out to their local Marine Patrol Officer or Marine Patrol Division Office to seek information and to discuss common sense approaches to compliance with these new regulations.

Contact information for Marine Patrol can be found at https://www.maine.gov/dmr/marine-patrol/marine-contact.html

Patrick Keliher
Commissioner
Maine Department of Marine Resources