[MARMAM] New publication: Reducing effort in the U.S. American lobster fishery to prevent North Atlantic right whale entanglements may support higher profits and long-term sustainability

Hannah Myers hmyers8 at alaska.edu
Fri May 29 15:47:19 PDT 2020

Dear all,

Michael Moore and I are pleased to share our recent publication in Marine

Myers, H.J., and M.J. Moore. 2020. Reducing effort in the U.S. American
lobster (*Homarus americanus*) fishery to prevent North Atlantic right
whale (*Eubalaena glacialis*) entanglements may support higher profits and
long-term sustainability. Marine Policy 118:104017.

North Atlantic right whales (*Eubalaena glacialis*) feed and migrate in
areas of the inshore and offshore trap fishery for American lobster (*Homarus
americanus*) in the Northeast U.S. In addition to a recent increase in
lethal and sub-lethal interactions with Canadian snow crab gear,
entanglement in both Canadian and U.S. lobster trap gear threatens the
continued existence of this endangered species. The U.S. National Marine
Fisheries Service is considering a number of measures to prevent right
whale entanglement bycatch that could impact lobster fishing effort. The
U.S. lobster fishery in Maine expends approximately 7.5 times as much
effort as the Canadian fishery in Lobster Fishing Area 34, where Canadian
fishers catch about 3.7 times more lobster per trap than their counterparts
in Maine. From 2007 to 2013 in Maine, lobster landings doubled as the
number of traps fell 10.5% and landings per trap increased by about 125%.
The state of Massachusetts has achieved record high landings since trap/pot
seasonal closures have been implemented to protect right whales, especially
within the Statistical Reporting Areas most affected by the closures.
Therefore, a negative economic impact should not be assumed with effort
reduction. In fact, reducing effort may serve to increase fishing profits
while supporting the protection of endangered North Atlantic right whales
and the long-term sustainability of the lobster fishery.

Link to full paper:

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.



Graduate Student, Marine Biology
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
hmyers8 at alaska.edu
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