Maine politicians ask for time to comply with whale rules

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s congressional delegation and governor say the state’s lobster fishermen need more time to comply with new rules designed to protect rare whales.

The rules are designed to protect North Atlantic right whales, which number less than 340 and are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear.

The federal government is using the rules to impose new restrictions on when lobster fishermen can fish and what kinds of gear they can use.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills and the four-member congressional delegation said Wednesday one of the rules, which requires weak points in lobster lines, is essentially impossible for fishermen to comply with at this time.

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