The recent decision against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an excellent example of federal government overreach based upon unsettled science. Right whales have struggled to remain a viable species since they were ransacked by unchecked whaling in the 1800s. Their more recent recovery is a heartwarming example of positive human intervention.

However, to place significant blame against lobstering techniques for threatening this species’ continued viability unduly discounts all the other impacts posed by large ships, climate change and the natural selection of living things. Meanwhile, Maine’s lobster industry is threatened by some of the same things threatening right whales.

At some point, we have to make the tough decision between preventing entanglements of whales in fishing gear and damaging Maine’s most noble and economically important industry.

Geoffrey Emanuel

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