Lobstermen and consumers should not have to cover the costs of new trap lines to rescue right whales from potential entanglements. Right Whales are a national treasure, pride of New Englanders, and sometimes companions of boaters and beach goers.
The Stewarding Atlantic Fisheries Ecosystems by Supporting Economic Assistance and Sustainability (SAFE SEAS) Act of 2022 will help lobstermen and women with the financial burden of this transition by authorizing grant assistance for fiscal years 2022 through 2024 to help cover the costs of compliance.
“Maine lobstermen and women have always been good stewards of the environment and have taken numerous actions to protect right whales when the science has warranted it. As NOAA moves ahead with this rule despite the Maine delegation’s urging against it, our legislation would help alleviate the financial burden our lobstermen and women face. We must ensure that this heritage industry has the assistance it needs to continue to support coastal families and communities for generations to come.” Senator Susan Collins said.
Senator Angus King said, “For generations, Maine’s lobstering communities have set the gold standard for creating and maintaining a sustainable fishery. Despite this history of environmental leadership, Maine lobstermen are now being subjected to significant regulations that will drastically alter the industry. As this plan moves forward despite questions surrounding the data and aggressive time frame, the least Congress can do is provide funding to help adjust to the new regulations.”
A ripple in the seawater quite close-by the beach drew their attention. Suddenly, an enormous black head rose. Gazing their way was a huge eye the size of the softball. The right whale wheeled forward and disappeared beneath the waves. Later, a right whale breached. Its entire body came out of the water and, rotating, it splashed down on its backside sending up curtains of spray. The right whale breached many times over the course of about an hour.
This close encounter with a right whale on a Provincetown shore happened to the Delaney family on April 24, 2004, the day after Ramona’s 93-year-old grandmother’s funeral. That day, they found solace when the spirit of life shined brightly in a majestic right whale. For Ramona & Mat Delaney, and daughters Katrina and Erica, April 24 will always be right whale day a time for remembrance and gratitude.
At the Delaney’s request, state representative, Josh Cutler, has filed a bill to create Massachusetts Right Whale Day April 24 (H.3869). As of today, the bill has yet to brought to a vote.
Please take a moment to sign our letter calling a right whale day. We’ll organize comments that the Representatives welcome because they rarely hear from constituents on anything but the top issues. It’s great if you’re from outside of MA because legislators want to have a good national reputation. Right whales deserve no less.
Right Whale Tales
To celebrate right whales on April 24th, we are putting together comments from across the nation and beyond on why we care to save right whales. Some are submitting their encounters; others are describing the personal importance of whales in less direct ways. You are also welcomed to submit drawings and photographs.
On ORI’s Right Whale Tales page you’ll see that educator Katrina Delaney has put together an Educational Resources page, and graphic artist Erica Delaney Black has a page with right whale logo swag.