Take Reduction Team
To Review Progress
and Offer Advice
NMFS Northeast Region
A D V I S O R Y
A team of fishermen, scientists, and state and federal officials is scheduled to meet February 22-24 in Danvers, Massachusetts, to look for ways to reduce the take of large whales in fishing gear. The team will review progress under the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, established in 1997 to protect right whales and other large whales from risks posed by fishing gear.
The take reduction team (TRT) will hear reports on the status of right whales and on progress under present take reduction measures, and will review the 24 confirmed entanglements of large whales in 1999.
The TRT will also hear reports on: gear taken off whales in 1999 disentanglement efforts; progress in a gear research program to develop gear less likely to entangle; right whale sightings in the 1999 Sighting Advisory System; and the proposed year 2000 right whale spending plan.
Take reduction teams were established under the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1996 to help the National Marine Fisheries Service develop plans to mitigate risks to marine mammals posed by fishing gear. One result was the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, effective in 1997. The plan is explicitly one that can change as whale researchers learn more about the status of whale stocks and gain a clearer understanding of how and where entanglements occur. NMFS has retained the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team as a feature of the plan, to help the agency monitor progress and advise on needed improvements.
The TRT meeting is scheduled to run from the afternoon of February 22 to 5 p.m. February 24 at the Sheraton Ferncroft in Danvers. An agenda for the meeting is available online and a press guide to the present Take Reduction Plan is available from George Liles at (508) 495-2378 or Teri Frady at (508)495-2239.