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Harbor Porpoise Closure Imposed For Gulf of Maine

May 28, 2012
Spring 2012

NMFS recently announced an annual closure of the Coastal Gulf of Maine Consequence Closure Area from October to November for sink gillnet fisheries, to reduce takes of harbor porpoise in compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act. "Consequence closures" are triggered if a fishery exceeds its target annual bycatch rate set by the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Team for two consecutive management seasons. In the case of the Coastal Gulf of Maine Consequence Closure area, NMFS reported that the bycatch rate during the first management period could not be reduced below the target bycatch rate for the area even if takes were reduced to zero in the second management season. The Coastal Gulf of Maine Consequence Closure Area spans the coast from Massachusetts to Maine.