Aggregation of Whales Triggers Temporary Fishing Restrictions -- April 19, 2002 2002/04/19 Aggregation of Whales Triggers Temporary Fishing Restrictions

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NOAA Fisheries

Northeast Region

Media Advisory

George Liles
(508) 495-2378
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NMFS Northeast Region

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(Note: A permit holder letter describing the closure went out April 26, 2002.)

Gloucester, Mass. -- NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service this afternoon issued advance notice of temporary restrictions for lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet gear for a 15-day period in an area off Cape Ann, Massachusetts, totaling 1,100 square nautical miles in April and 1,700 square nautical miles in the beginning of May.

On April 14, 2002, 8 right whales in the proximity of 42 31' N latitude and 70 00.6' W longitude were sighted, which resulted in NMFS taking action under the Dynamic Area Management program to provide immediate protection to an aggregation of North Atlantic right whales.

The closure will become effective two days after the rule has published in the Federal Register. The closure is expected to be published in the Federal Register by the middle of next week. Once effective, all anchored gillnet and lobster trap gear must be removed from the closure area for the remainder of April and the early part of May. An e-mail message and permit holder letter will be sent to fishermen early next week that provides the official effective date and duration of the closure.

More information about Dynamic Area Management is available here (see "Dynamic Area Management" under the heading "Elements of the Plan").

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