Three animal groups say lobster pots and fishing lines used off the Massachusetts coast are killing endangered North Atlantic right whales and other large whales.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, the Humane Society of the US, Defenders of Wildlife and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society demand the government do something to stop the deaths - several of which they say occurred after the National Marine Fisheries Service released studies last fall that lobstering and large-scale fishing offshore were not jeopardizing right, humpback, fin and sei whales:
Atlantic large whales are in danger of entanglements from [lobster] trap/pot gear because they feed and travel in many of the same areas as the Fishery operates. The risk of entanglement occurs year-round, though the risk may be greatest during the summer and fall, when both whales and the lobster gear are the most concentrated in the same area.
The suit cites similar problems with lines and nets from fishing boats in search of fish in the area offshore from Maine to North Carolina.