Maritime Shorts: Confidentiality hearing, right whale responsibility

Public hearing on DMR confidentiality 

AUGUSTA — The state Department of Marine Resources is holding a public hearing next week to talk about a proposal to change the confidentiality of fisheries statistics.  

The proposed rule would clarify that any statistics collected by DMR from a dealer, harvester, business, person or vessel as a result of compliance with reporting requirements would be confidential. An agreement with a dealer, harvester, business, person or vessel to participate in a department-led project to develop or test new methodologies or technologies for fisheries statistics would also be considered confidential, according to an announcement about the proposal from DMR.  

A remote hearing on the rule is scheduled for July 7 at 4 p.m. and a link is on the DMR’s website. 

People can comment on the proposal through July 19.  


 Right whale responsibility 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration met with their Canadian counterparts in June to talk about their “shared interest in protecting and recovering” the endangered North Atlantic right whales.  

“Clearly, it is crucial for both countries to take and sustain additional efforts to reduce right whale mortalities and serious injuries,” said Paul Doremus, the acting assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “Protecting and conserving these critically endangered whales is especially important given the rapid decline in the population in recent years.” 

Doremus went on to say that there is evidence of a continued high rate of mortality in the species and while at least 18 calves were born this year, there are still lots of concerns around the whales.  

As in previous meetings, both sides agreed to share techniques and solutions to keep the fishery healthy, reduce the risk of entanglements and create whale-safe maritime practices. The two countries also provided updates on current and future risk reduction measures.  

Doremus said it was essential that the U.S. and Canada implement sustainable, long-term measures to help right whales recover.  

“As a newcomer to these discussions, I was pleased with Canada’s willingness to share information and seek common ground. It’s important to continue these bilateral efforts to help achieve our shared goals of conserving and restoring this species,” he said. “As we have said before, the United States, especially the commercial fishing industry, cannot carry the full burden of these efforts. It has to be a shared responsibility. Our partners and stakeholders continue to look to the U.S. and Canadian governments to save this critically endangered species, and this is one of the ways we can deliver.” 


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