PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Latest on new efforts to protect endangered right whales (all times local):
The Canadian government is offering new measures to try to protect endangered whales in the wake of the announcement of a similar effort by American fisheries managers.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada says its measures are designed to cut down on ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear that threaten the North Atlantic right whale.
The agency states that it is changing an area of ocean that is closed to snow crab and lobster fishing to include the area where 90 percent of the whales were sighted during the busiest parts of last year's fishing season. It's also re-introducing a mandatory speed restriction for some vessels that travel in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence starting on April 28.
Canadian officials announced the new measures on Thursday afternoon.
Interstate fishing managers are starting the process of trying to reduce the amount of lobster fishing gear off the East Coast in an attempt to help save a declining species of rare whale.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced on Wednesday that it will consider options designed to reduce vertical lobster fishing lines in the water by as much as 40 percent. The lines pose a threat to the North Atlantic right whale, which is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world.
The commission says it will try to reduce the amount of gear with a combination of trap limits, seasonal closures, lobster trap reductions and other methods. The rules are under development and will take months.
Some lobster fishermen say they need more details before they support the effort.