The state Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding lobstermen and different entice fishermen that state waters north and east of Cape Cod stay closed to all business harvesting due to the continued presence of North Atlantic proper whales.
DMF and the Provincetown Middle for Coastal Research proceed to fly aerial survey flights to gauge the size of proper whale presence in state waters because the imperiled inventory continues its northward feeding migration.
The company stated its most up-to-date flight, on April 28, 2021, noticed 86 proper whales within the waters of northern Cape Cod Bay, southern Massachusetts Bay, and Stellwagen Financial institution, a fishing floor situated about 15 miles southeast of Gloucester to about six miles north of Provincetown.
“Further surveillance flights are anticipated to happen over the subsequent a number of days,” DMF acknowledged. “DMF will reevaluate the standing of this closure primarily based on the presence or absence of whales. Ought to observational knowledge display proper whales have migrated out of Massachusetts waters, DMF might raise the entice gear closure previous to Might 15.”
Additionally, the Woods Gap Oceanographic Institute’s Slocum underwater glider on Sunday acoustically detected the presence of North Atlantic proper whales north of Cape Cod and NOAA Fisheries on Monday instituted a voluntary proper whale sluggish zone north of Cape Cod till Might 17.
The coordinates encompassing the zone are 42°40′ north longitude, 42°00′ north longitude, 069°40 west longitude and 070°34 west longitude. The company requests that vessels chart programs across the zone or transit by at 10 knots or much less.
The closure of state waters to all business entice fishing is a key aspect in an enhanced state safety plan for the proper whales, whose inhabitants heading into 2021 was estimated at about 365. The entice gear closure is designed to stop endangered proper whales from turning into entangled in entice gear.
The company additionally prolonged vessel velocity restrictions in Cape Cod Bay till Might 15.
“This requires all vessels lower than 65 ft general size function at a velocity of 10 knots or much less in these waters of Cape Cod Bay south of 42°08’ north longitude and people waters north of Cape Cod west of 70°10’ west longitude,” DMF acknowledged. “Just like the entice gear closure, this velocity restrict rule can be reevaluated in actual time in response to presence or absence of proper whales. This rule is designed to stop small vessel ship strikes involving these endangered whales.”
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comply with him on Twitter at @SeanGDT