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Old 23-02-2021, 08:49   #16
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Re: Right Whales

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Originally Posted by deblen View Post
Up until 2017,ship strikes were considered the leading cause of Right Whale death.
In 2017 & later,Right Whales stopped coming to the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine summer feeding grounds. Instead,they continued on up the eastern shore of N.S. and many turned into the Gulf & congregated near the mouth of the St. Lawrence R..
Good information, thank you!

It's good to see this is being monitored, and effective and targeted actions are being taken. Almost gives one faith in our governments!

This is better than the alarmist articles blaming all fishing gear, or trying to demonize US inshore lobstermen.
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Old 23-02-2021, 11:11   #17
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Re: Right Whales

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Every year the number of right whales drops. 83 % of them have scars from entanglement with fishing gear. It’s the leading cause of North Atlantic Right Whale mortality.

This is the science. Not my opinion. It’s simply the facts. If you need the facts, try google.

Lobsters belong to everybody. Whales belong to everybody.

If you want to make your living harvesting a public resource, then you have to play by the rules...the law. The public resource is managed through a process in which everyone can have a voice. No one is ignoring the economic impact.

Please don’t tell me anyone is being shut out of the process or being treated unfairly.

I wrote one of the first laws on aquaculture in Massachusetts 1978. Aquaculture was a new industry. A lot of people from the fishing industry and fisheries science helped to fine tune a law which would try to address the issues of everyone involved. I wrote an entire section of the Federal Law protecting manatees during the final draft of the” settlement “ of a number of lawsuits over manatee protection. That’s how a Democracy works.

Fishermen have groups which represent them. Every special interest group can have a voice in the process of resource management.

My point about this technology is simple. It represents a compromise solution which might have a dramatically positive result. Without which, the right whale will be lost.

A lot of sailors on this forum express time and time again, how special it is to encounter a marine mammal. How very lucky we are...all the more reason to pick up the phone and call your representative in Washington and ask them to protect all marine mammals, and to support the American fishing industry by requiring imports to be responsibly harvested and to provide financial assistance to fishing families.

Happy trails to you.

Captain Mark and his “a real sailor has pizza and beer for breakfast” manatee crew.


Nobody is arguing the damage that’s being fine to whales. As you say, that’s a fact. But it’s the proper solution that is in question. By lumping all “fishing gear” together rather than pointing a finger at the exact type of gear and its location, you unfairly include most lobstermen who never put a trap out in the deep waters where right whales are found. So, in order to come to agreement on a truly effective solution, we need to be specific and make sure any new laws target only those traps or types (and locations) of “fishing gear” that are actually doing the damage.
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Old 23-02-2021, 11:30   #18
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Re: Right Whales

It's true the studies I've seen don't differentiate about which fishing gear has caused the damage. But it's also true that some whales do venture quite close to shore, and have also been shown to be highly impacted by "fishing gear". I assume these whales will be encountering shallow water fishing gear like lobster traps.

Obviously Right whales are of most concern since they are endangered, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned about other whales like the Humpbacks, Blues and the Fins, not to mention the smaller Pilots, Belugas and probably other marine mammals.
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Old 23-02-2021, 14:42   #19
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Re: Right Whales

Lobsters in American waters, not talking about Canada, are a natural resource which is the common property of all Americans.
As part of the legal process to manage this resource, due consideration to everyone who might be affected by any legislation, must be considered in the review process. The economic impacts on some might not seem “fair” but the process does not exclude anyone. Lobstermen know exactly how to make their voices heard and substantially funded lobbying groups have a long history of being part of the legislative process.
Acoustic release systems have been used for decades in oceanography so this is not an unproven technology. Every lobster boat I’ve ever seen has gps.
Cooperation would be needed to prevent criss cross gear. This is well within technical feasibility. The lobster industry is well funded but the entry capital required increases every year. The boats get bigger, more powerful, more expensive and the minimum number of traps required for profitability has increased dramatically. There is no debate as to the pressure on the resource.
Every lobster is caught at least once before it reaches legal size.
I’ve seen about every system of “resource allocation” tried in a number of countries and encompassing a wide range of species. None work perfectly.
I grew up in the City of New Bedford where the Right whale was named because it was the right whale to kill...didn’t sink. My wife and I have worked in a number of sectors of the fishing industry including lobsters. We did the very first full commercial cargo jet shipment of live lobsters to Europe. We were friends with the family which pioneered the off shore lobster fishery. Please don’t lecture me on this subject. Cooperation will require a significant change in ever groups thinking. Lobster families should recognize the wide open fishery is simply gone and the best profitability option might be to form fishermen’s cooperatives.
Something that is hard to talk about in an industry wherein independent thinking and work are deeply held values.
Harvesting a public resource must include the respect of the position of others who also have a voice in these matters.
Bridging this gap will result in a truly sustainable fishery and an increasing number of marine mammals.
In post after post, sailors on this forum have noted how sighting marine mammals became a precious memory. As sailors, is it not upon us to do our part to protect them. Asking for responsible harvesting is simply a call to Washington or a chat with anyone selling lobsters to ask where and what they know about the circumstances in the fishery.
Lobsters and whales are common property the management of which must aim for the sustainability of both species, not one.
Happy trails to you.
Captain Mark and his crew of “we want a beer hose, not a water hose” manatees
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Old 23-02-2021, 15:41   #20
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Re: Right Whales

Lobsters in American waters, not talking about Canada, are a natural resource which is the common property of all Americans.
As part of the legal process to manage this resource, due consideration to everyone who might be affected by any legislation, must be considered in the review process. The economic impacts on some might not seem “fair” but the process does not exclude anyone. Lobstermen know exactly how to make their voices heard and substantially funded lobbying groups have a long history of being part of the legislative process.
Acoustic release systems have been used for decades in oceanography so this is not an unproven technology. Every lobster boat I’ve ever seen has gps.
Cooperation would be needed to prevent criss cross gear. This is well within technical feasibility. The lobster industry is well funded but the entry capital required increases every year. The boats get bigger, more powerful, more expensive and the minimum number of traps required for profitability has increased dramatically. There is no debate as to the pressure on the resource.
Every lobster is caught at least once before it reaches legal size.
I’ve seen about every system of “resource allocation” tried in a number of countries and encompassing a wide range of species. None work perfectly.
I grew up in the City of New Bedford where the Right whale was named because it was the right whale to kill...didn’t sink. My wife and I have worked in a number of sectors of the fishing industry including lobsters. We did the very first full commercial cargo jet shipment of live lobsters to Europe. We were friends with the family which pioneered the off shore lobster fishery. Please don’t lecture me on this subject. Cooperation will require a significant change in ever groups thinking. Lobster families should recognize the wide open fishery is simply gone and the best profitability option might be to form fishermen’s cooperatives.
Something that is hard to talk about in an industry wherein independent thinking and work are deeply held values.
Harvesting a public resource must include the respect of the position of others who also have a voice in these matters.
Bridging this gap will result in a truly sustainable fishery and an increasing number of marine mammals.
In post after post, sailors on this forum have noted how sighting marine mammals became a precious memory. As sailors, is it not upon us to do our part to protect them. Asking for responsible harvesting is simply a call to Washington or a chat with anyone selling lobsters to ask where and what they know about the circumstances in the fishery.
Lobsters and whales are common property the management of which must aim for the sustainability of both species, not one.
Happy trails to you.
Captain Mark and his crew of “we want a beer hose, not a water hose” manatees
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Old 23-02-2021, 16:52   #21
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Re: Right Whales

I'm really surprised that nobody linked to this story of a baby right whale spotted for the first time in decades in the east Atlantic, the canary islands......

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/18/the-new-humpback-calf-sighting-sparks-hope-for-imperilled-right-whale
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Old 24-02-2021, 03:20   #22
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Re: Right Whales

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Originally Posted by Manateeman View Post
Cooperation would be needed to prevent criss cross gear. This is well within technical feasibility. The lobster industry is well funded but the entry capital required increases every year. The boats get bigger, more powerful, more expensive and the minimum number of traps required for profitability has increased dramatically. There is no debate as to the pressure on the resource.


By law, Maine lobstermen must use sinking line and a 600# weak link in order to reduce entanglement with whales. I don’t know enough about the new electronic equipment you are proposing to have an opinion on its feasibility but I do wonder who you think will pay for it. I have no idea what you mean when you say the “lobster industry is well funded” or if you understand that most lobstermen aren’t very well funded at all. I know several and most of them are driving 10 year old pickup trucks. They’re not starving and occasionally have a good year but overall they are far from “well funded.” This apparent misperception of yours concerns me because i fear you might advocate for “solutions” that would financially devastate individual lobstermen who fish in waters less than 100’ deep where a right whale has never been seen. Very few lobstermen where I live and sail in Penobscot Bay and Downeast Maine fish in the deep waters where right whales are found so any new regulations must be crafted so as to leave them alone because they’re not causing any problems for right whales.

You state that “the minimum number of traps required for profitability has increased dramatically” but all the lobstermen I know are already fishing the maximum of 800 traps so they have no ability to increase. So, what you are really saying is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a lobsterman to be profitable but earlier in the same paragraph you talk of the industry being well funded?’

I’m all for doing what we can to coexist with all creatures but we must be very careful of unintended consequences when we set out to protect one species that legitimately needs protection. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of “doing something” but being in such haste that the “something” we chose to do doesn’t solve the problem but does hurt some folks who were never even part of the problem.
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Old 24-02-2021, 05:27   #23
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Re: Right Whales

My view is that any mandated change should be backed by significant government financial supports. No fisher I've ever met is unconcerned with the impact his/her activities have on the environment or other species. Fishers want to do what is best, but few are rich and can only operate within the law as best they can.
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Old 24-02-2021, 07:02   #24
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Re: Right Whales

The only solution I “advocate “ for is cooperation between parties and respect for suitation which entails recognition that lobsters are common property.
Acoustic release technology might offer a solution. It might not, but given the critical current numbers of Right Whales, it is one of the more promising “solutions” proposed.
This is not my personal opinion, but the current consensus of experts in management of the resource.
By “well funded” I was referring to the amount of money available to the industry.
There is no question banks consider the lobster industry a normal to good risk. They are the ones paying for new, more powerful boats and the increased number of traps. They invested millions in the fishing and scallop fleet in New Bedford to the point where harvesting became un sustainable. Big fish eat the little fish. It’s sad but the costs to enter any fishery seems to increase every year to the point small operators are driven out. Fisherman cooperatives have helped in some cases but it is the limits of the resource which determines the number of harvesters. Who will pay? Well the Feds might guarantee loans but a lot of people feel this is not what government should do. The cost to enter this fishery has historically increased as regulators continued to allow trap numbers to climb. The biomass of the resource remained static. Profit per trap decreased. The industry continued to always ask for less regulation than that which was proposed by biologists. This approach resulted in the collapse of a number of fisheries.
Are you proposing following the same path?
Look, these issues are complex. It would take me pages to explain my personal opinion. Please note I don’t ever quote people. I tried to detail both perspectives of this situation in a manner as fair as possible. What is clear is that both sides must recognize the legitimacy of the other side. It’s wrong to bankrupt fishing families. It’s wrong to add to the risk of the extermination of right whales. Their numbers are just that low.
I personally do not think the cost of acoustic release technology will bankrupt lobstering families...especially if they get some help from the Feds and the banks.
The resource management experts believe the technology will work. Both resources are the property of all Americans and that fact must be respected.
Happy trails to you.
Captain Mark and his sad manatee crew.
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Old 24-02-2021, 07:35   #25
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Re: Right Whales

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manateeman View Post
The only solution I “advocate “ for is cooperation between parties and respect for suitation which entails recognition that lobsters are common property.
Acoustic release technology might offer a solution. It might not, but given the critical current numbers of Right Whales, it is one of the more promising “solutions” proposed.
This is not my personal opinion, but the current consensus of experts in management of the resource.
By “well funded” I was referring to the amount of money available to the industry.
There is no question banks consider the lobster industry a normal to good risk. They are the ones paying for new, more powerful boats and the increased number of traps. They invested millions in the fishing and scallop fleet in New Bedford to the point where harvesting became un sustainable. Big fish eat the little fish. It’s sad but the costs to enter any fishery seems to increase every year to the point small operators are driven out. Fisherman cooperatives have helped in some cases but it is the limits of the resource which determines the number of harvesters. Who will pay? Well the Feds might guarantee loans but a lot of people feel this is not what government should do. The cost to enter this fishery has historically increased as regulators continued to allow trap numbers to climb. The biomass of the resource remained static. Profit per trap decreased. The industry continued to always ask for less regulation than that which was proposed by biologists. This approach resulted in the collapse of a number of fisheries.
Are you proposing following the same path?
Look, these issues are complex. It would take me pages to explain my personal opinion. Please note I don’t ever quote people. I tried to detail both perspectives of this situation in a manner as fair as possible. What is clear is that both sides must recognize the legitimacy of the other side. It’s wrong to bankrupt fishing families. It’s wrong to add to the risk of the extermination of right whales. Their numbers are just that low.
I personally do not think the cost of acoustic release technology will bankrupt lobstering families...especially if they get some help from the Feds and the banks.
The resource management experts believe the technology will work. Both resources are the property of all Americans and that fact must be respected.
Happy trails to you.
Captain Mark and his sad manatee crew.



Well said! / Len
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Old 25-02-2021, 10:06   #26
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Re: Right Whales

More Right Whale news


https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-c...FnXLm8j87FC12k


https://tc.canada.ca/en/backgrounder...right-whales-0
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Old 25-02-2021, 11:11   #27
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Re: Right Whales

This is a sailing forum, right?
The biggest issue I see with lobster traps in SoCal is those darn things are too close to the entrance of harbors. I am more afraid about it getting stuck in my prop than some whale getting stuck in it. It is not a major issue since our coast drops off rapidly and the traps are very close to shore.
Bigger issue is we have a shipping lane between the Channel Islands and the California coast where whales migrate and the occasionally those big tankers hits one. Whale population been increasing so loosing a few ..though sad.. does not make any impact on the population. I am pretty sure someone will find a pic...but we do not find whales lining our beaches because they go hit by a boat or tangled in a net. Making it sound like its doom and gloom and its the end of the world gets a little tiring.
Local fisherman/woman/person are trying to make a living and it is hard. They are not rich people. Next time you put some food on the table be thankful to them. I understand that need to be respectful to animals and protect whenever possible but not at the expense of destroying peoples livelihood.
Some folks need to get off their high self righteous horse and get a dose of reality that there are those who do not have the luxury of sitting in their office to put food on the table. Really, with Covid, people loosing their jobs, world starvation....I am going to worry about some idiot marking some seacow in Florida. Ooopps....that was another topic.

IMHO
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Old 25-02-2021, 11:35   #28
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Re: Right Whales

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Originally Posted by sailingabe41ds View Post
This is a sailing forum, right?
The biggest issue I see with lobster traps in SoCal is those darn things are too close to the entrance of harbors. I am more afraid about it getting stuck in my prop than some whale getting stuck in it. It is not a major issue since our coast drops off rapidly and the traps are very close to shore.
Bigger issue is we have a shipping lane between the Channel Islands and the California coast where whales migrate and the occasionally those big tankers hits one. Whale population been increasing so loosing a few ..though sad.. does not make any impact on the population. I am pretty sure someone will find a pic...but we do not find whales lining our beaches because they go hit by a boat or tangled in a net. Making it sound like its doom and gloom and its the end of the world gets a little tiring.
Local fisherman/woman/person are trying to make a living and it is hard. They are not rich people. Next time you put some food on the table be thankful to them. I understand that need to be respectful to animals and protect whenever possible but not at the expense of destroying peoples livelihood.
Some folks need to get off their high self righteous horse and get a dose of reality that there are those who do not have the luxury of sitting in their office to put food on the table. Really, with Covid, people loosing their jobs, world starvation....I am going to worry about some idiot marking some seacow in Florida. Ooopps....that was another topic.

IMHO
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Strictly from a sailing point of view, the biggest problem I see with lobster traps is that from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, and all the coastal waters in between, they are as much a fact of life for the casual sailor, especially one with a torpedo keel.

Lobstering was a way of life on the coast long before marinas were full of cruising sailboats, and dealing with it is as much a part of life as trying to solve the problem of a dwindling population of one of the earth's largest and most fantastic creatures.

In this compendium, leisure sailors and their problems are a distant third place.
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Old 06-03-2021, 15:54   #29
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Re: Right Whales

We heard whale song several times on the short offshore passage from St Augustine, FL to St Simons, GA about a week ago. We never had any whale sightings. The USCG advises that the assumption should be that these are right whales. I couldn’t find anything about right whale song propagation in air. Or, for that matter, any other whale song propagation distance in air. So, I tried to calculate it. I found blue whale song is 165dB in water. I have no idea what the difference is in amplitude between blue whales and right whales for their song. I assumed there was no difference. There’s a 29dB loss from water to air. And, there’s a 6dB loss at 1m from the source and an additional 6dB loss for each subsequent doubled distance. Darn it, I didn’t have a decibel meter on board when the whale(s) sang. Normal conversation is 60dB. I assumed that was the level at which we heard. If I did the math correctly, I calculate the whale(s) could have been up to 2.5 miles away.
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Old 06-03-2021, 17:05   #30
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Re: Right Whales

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Originally Posted by Ded reckoner View Post
We heard whale song several times on the short offshore passage from St Augustine, FL to St Simons, GA about a week ago. We never had any whale sightings. The USCG advises that the assumption should be that these are right whales. I couldn’t find anything about right whale song propagation in air. Or, for that matter, any other whale song propagation distance in air. So, I tried to calculate it. I found blue whale song is 165dB in water. I have no idea what the difference is in amplitude between blue whales and right whales for their song. I assumed there was no difference. There’s a 29dB loss from water to air. And, there’s a 6dB loss at 1m from the source and an additional 6dB loss for each subsequent doubled distance. Darn it, I didn’t have a decibel meter on board when the whale(s) sang. Normal conversation is 60dB. I assumed that was the level at which we heard. If I did the math correctly, I calculate the whale(s) could have been up to 2.5 miles away.
Wow. Very cool.

All the whales I've seen in Cape Cod Bay, on Stellwagen Bank, and in the Gulf of Maine, I've never heard one single whale song.
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