Court reinstates ban on lobster gear to protect right whales
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A federal circuit court has reinstated a ban on lobster fishing gear in a nearly 1,000-square-mile area off New England to try to protect endangered whales.
The National Marine Fisheries Service issued new regulations last year that prohibited lobster fishing with vertical buoy lines in part of the fall and winter in the area.
The ruling was intended to prevent North Atlantic right whales, which number less than 340, from becoming entangled. The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine issued a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of the rules.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston vacated that ruling on Tuesday.
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