PLYMOUTH, Mass. - The Division of Marine Fisheries has lifted the ban many lobstermen proested against, claiming it was an unfair closure of lobstering in the waters off Cape Cod.
The state Division of Marine Fisheries announced Thursday they rescinded the ban on lobstering, declaring lobstermen were clear to set their trap gear in the waters north and east of the Cape as of May 10th, which were previously closed for fixed gear.
The rules, which had previously been in place through May 14th in certain areas south of Scituate, cited the large presence of endangered North Atlantic right whales as reason to ban lobstering.
Lobstermen protesting the ban on Thursday said losing two weeks of an already limited season impacted their livelihoods by forcing local buyers to purchase Canadian lobsters along with a domino effect on industry workers -- from bait and fuel sales to dock and lobster workers.
Additionally, boats smaller than 65' are now allowed to be operated at a speed greater than 10 knots. Vessels over 65' are still required to comply with the 10 knot speed limit until May 15th.
Boston 25 News captured some spectacular images of the whales from Sky25, above Plymouth Harbor Wednesday, including a right whale and her calf just 100 yards offshore.
Cape Cod whale researchers say they have spotted numerous whale calves traveling to New England, sparking hope of a mini-baby boom for the endangered species that is estimated at only 450.
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