Protection of rare whale, fishing rules on agenda this week

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A federal government group that seeks to keep whales safe from threats is meeting in Rhode Island this week to try to find solutions to save the North Atlantic right whale. 

The right whales are among the rarest marine mammals, numbering about 411. Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team is holding its meeting in Providence from Tuesday to Friday. The team was created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reduce injuries and deaths that whales suffer due to entanglement in fishing gear.

The team's agenda states that its goal is to develop recommendations to reduce right whale mortalities that are caused by fisheries by more than 60 percent. Members of the U.S. lobster fishing industry are watching this week's deliberation's closely because of potential new fishing rules.

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