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ME - Conservationists and fishermen find flaws in NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) right whale approach

A framework released by the National Marine Fisheries Service last month that calls for reducing risks to the endangered North Atlantic right whale in federal fisheries has been criticized both by conservationists and lobstermen, though for different reasons.

BAR HARBOR— A framework released by the National Marine Fisheries Service last month that calls for reducing risks to the endangered North Atlantic right whale in federal fisheries has been criticized both by conservationists and lobstermen, though for different reasons.   

The framework was included in the service’s long-awaited biological opinion and requires the reduction of risks to the whales by a cumulative 98 percent in the next 10 years.  

The exact measures to ensure this reduction have yet to be determined and are expected later this year, but conservationists have heavily criticized the 10-year timeline, which they argue is much too slow and not in line with rules under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.   

“A lot of the conservation community feel that the timeline that NOAA has laid out in the bi-op may not hold up legally,” said Zack Klyver, the director of science at Blue Planet Strategies.  

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