PORTLAND – Dozens of lobstermen showed up for Monday’s meeting at Kennebunk High School.
They say the proposed restrictions are way too tough and could severely hurt Maine’s lobster industry.
The Department of Marine Resources is looking to remove hundreds of lobstermen’s vertical lines from the Gulf of Maine.
These lines are what connect the buoy to the trap.
Experts say right whales, which are near extinction, are getting entangled in them.
Roughly 411 right whales are estimated to be alive today.
While the department confirms no right whale deaths have occurred in the Gulf of Maine, the state still has to play its part due to federal law.
The department says the goal is to reduce the risk of entanglement deaths by sixty percent.
Lobstermen say if right whales aren’t getting hurt in their lines, it shouldn’t be their responsibility.
David Sullivan is a fisherman based out of Kittery and he attended the meeting Monday.
“Prove to us that whatever we’re doing is hurting the whales. Nobody wants to do that but we also don’t want to be the victim of a law that’s putting a blanket over an entire industry,” he said.
The department will be holding more meetings this summer on the issue before submitting an official plan in September.