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Regulators delay action on trackers for lobster boats

February 27, 2022 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Regulators will be taking up a plan to require lobstermen to install electronic trackers on their boats this spring.

The American Lobster Management Board discussed the plan this week before deciding more time is needed to evaluate the issues.

Steve Train, a lobster fisherman from Long Island, Maine, said it’s important for lobstermen to buy into rules. They’re concerned about the proposal’s cost, purpose and privacy.

Maine Public reports that scientists and conservationists support the electronic tracking program.

The tracking devices would record the location of the vessel while it is fishing, providing regulators with better data to get an idea of where in the ocean lobsters are located, she said.

The new rules could also help protect North Atlantic right whales, which are vulnerable to entrapments.

The lobster board, an arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, will take up the matter again at its spring meeting.