“PORTLAND, Maine — Their catch this year has plummeted, while their exports to China have been gutted by the trade war. The government has imposed strict quotas on their primary bait. And they’re facing serious lawsuits that could affect how they fish.
Now, the region’s lobstermen are facing a new, imminent threat, one that could drastically change how they’ve operated for generations: regulations to protect North Atlantic right whales.
With a population that has dwindled by 20 percent over the past decade to about 400, the critically endangered species is at risk of extinction, largely because of hundreds of thousands of buoy lines that extend from the surface to the seafloor in the Gulf of Maine.”