Center for Biological Diversity Petitions National Marine Fisheries Service to Protect Whales from Fishing Gear

The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a petition for rulemaking to the National Marine Fisheries Service to require crab, lobster, and other trap fisheries to convert to ropeless gear within the next five years because entanglement in fishing gear has become a leading threat to endangered whales and sea turtles on all U.S. coastlines. The petition urges the agency to prioritize the transition in national marine sanctuaries, citing that more than 100 large whales (including critically endangered North Atlantic right whales and Pacific humpback whales) were reported entangled in fishing gear in the United States in 2018 alone.