WALDOBORO — The Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office is holding meetings to solicit public comments on ways to reduce the risk of entanglement in trap and pot fisheries for right, humpback, and finback whales.
NOAA will be conducting eight scoping meetings this month, four of which will be in Maine.
This is being done in anticipation of preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement for modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan.
One of those meetings will take place in Waldoboro, on Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Medomak Valley High School.
NOAA is requesting comments on management options particularly including information about operational challenges, time, and costs required to modify gear by changing configurations such as traps per trawl to reduce endline numbers, installing new line or sleeves and by expanding gear marking requirements.
Written comments are also welcomed.
Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments by sending an email to gar.ALWTRT2019@noaa.gov using the subject line "Comments on Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Scoping."
Mail: Submit written comments to Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2276. Mark the outside of the envelope: Comments on Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Scoping.
Questions? Contact Colleen Coogan, Take Reduction Team Coordinator, (978) 281-9181
The schedule of Maine meetings is below.
Monday, August 12, 2019 - Machias, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
University of Maine at Machias
Performing Arts Center
116 O’Brien Avenue
Machias, ME 04654
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - Ellsworth, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Ellsworth High School Performing Arts Center
24 Lejok Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - Waldoboro, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Medomak Valley High School
320 Manktown Road
Waldoboro, Maine 04572
Thursday, August 15, 2019 - Portland, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
South Portland High School
637 Highland Ave.
South Portland ME, 04106