UMaine involved in project to help protect North Atlantic right whales, media report

Mainebiz and Mount Desert Islander reported the Maine Department of Marine Resources has been awarded a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve data used to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. According to a DMR news release, $714,245 was awarded to the three-year project, which begins this summer. The project will support work that improves and adds data on fishing gear that can inform future whale protection regulations, Mainebiz reported. Project participants include the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, and FB Environmental of Portland and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. UMaine will develop statistical models from the gathered data that regulators can use to quantify current vertical line use and to predict the potential outcomes of proposed regulations, Mount Desert Islander reported.