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NOAA Published the Final Rule 9-17-21

NOAA has now published the final rule and the seasonal closure will be in effect if nothing changes on 10-17-21 in zone C, D, and E. The Maine Lobstering Union is looking at every option we have at this time. NOAA's data repeatedly shows NARW not in LMA1 but in LMA3. This closure is arbitrary at best, and the very least should have actual NARW sightings for a trigger mechanism to implement the closure not a timeframe which will not protect the NARW. As always, fishermen are the first to step up when faced with fishing changes to help or save the NARW, we have removed 27,000 miles of floating rope, 2540 miles of vertical lines, inserted 600 pound break-a-ways, and gear marking, these changes date back to 1990 and have reduced entanglements by 90%. Since then our ocean has been warming at an alarming rate and NARW feed, the copepods, are not in the Gulf of Maine like they once were, instead they are more plentiful in the cold waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in Canada. As great as Maine fishermen have been about losing fingers to the sinking ground-line they must use now in the name of NARW safety, they will be the first to call foul when rules do not pass the smell test! The LMA1 seasonal closure sure does not pass the smell test! It was based on a "Hot Spot" for end-lines and NOT A CO-OCCURANCE for NARW! How about a closure based on a trigger? If you ever SEE a NARW in that area, we will move our gear out? Maine fishermen will continue to do all they can to help save the NARW because we need a healthy ocean too, but we will not step aside while you dismantle our industry in the name of conservation. It is time to #StandUpForLobstermen

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