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2011 ALWTRP Scoping Meetings for Development of the Vertical Line Rule


NMFS is holding 15 public scoping meetings during July and August (76 FR 34654). The scoping meetings are an opportunity for public to get involved in the development of conservation measures intended to reduce the risk of serious injury and mortality of large whales due to entanglements in vertical lines. NMFS is committed to publishing a final rule to address vertical line entanglement by 2014.

Using fishing gear characterization data and whale sightings per unit effort (SPUE), NMFS developed a model to determine the co-occurrence of fishing gear density and whale density to serve as a proxy for finer-scale high risk areas.

NMFS is accepting comments from the public on management options. Additionally, NMFS is seeking information on the range of impacts that should be considered for the various options identified to reduce the incidental mortality and serious injury of right, humpback and finback whales incidentally taken in commercial trap/pot and gillnet fisheries.

Schedule of scoping meetings:




Meeting Summary

July 11th from 6-9pm

East Machias, ME

Washington Academy

66 High Street

Northeast Meeting 1

July 12th from 6-9pm

Ellsworth, ME

Ellsworth City Hall Auditorium

1 City Hall Plaza

Northeast Meeting 2

July 13th from 6-9pm

Rockland, ME

Rockland District High School Auditorium

400 Broadway

Northeast Meeting 3

July 14th from 6-9pm

Portland, ME

Portland City Hall

State of Maine Room

389 Congress Street

Northeast Meeting 4

July 18th from 5:30- 8:30pm

Providence, RI

Providence Public Library

150 Empire Street

Northeast Meeting 5

July 19th from 6-9pm

Plymouth, MA

Plymouth Public Library

Otto Fehlow Room

132 South Street

Northeast Meeting 6

July 20th from 6-9pm

Chatham, MA

Chatham Community Center

Large Meeting Room

702 Main Street

Northeast Meeting 7

July 21st from 6-9pm

Gloucester, MA

NMFS Regional Office

Hearing Rooms A&B

55 Great Republic Drive

Northeast Meeting 8

July 22nd from 6-9pm

Portsmouth, NH

Comfort Inn

1190 Lafayette Road 

Northeast Meeting 9*

July 26th from 6-9pm

Morehead City, NC

NCDMF District Office

5285 Highway 70 West

Mid-Atlantic Meeting 1

July 27th from 6-9pm

Virginia Beach, VA

Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library

Folio Meeting Room

4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.

Mid-Atlantic Meeting 2

July 28th from 6-9pm

Ocean View, DE

Ocean View Town Hall

32 West Ave.

Mid-Atlantic Meeting 3

July 29th from 6-9pm

Manahawkin, NJ

Stafford Township Municipal Building

Council Meeting Room

260 Bay Avenue

Mid-Atlantic Meeting 4

August 22nd from 5-8pm

Cape Canaveral, FL

Cape Canaveral Public Library

201 Polk Avenue

Southeast Meeting 1

August 23rd from 6-9 pm

Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville Port Authority

Board Room
2831 Talleyrand Avenue

Southeast Meeting 2

August 24th from 6-9pm

Garden City, GA

Garden City City Hall

100 Central Avenue

Southeast Meeting 3

* The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department held a scoping meeting that was attended by NMFS staff.

Key Issues

Public Comments Received

Scoping Materials

How do I comment?

  1. Provide verbal comments at one of the scoping meetings in your area.
  2. Provide written comments via-
    1. fax: (978) 281-9394; or
    2. mail to:

      Mary Colligan, Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources
      National Marine Fisheries Service
      55 Great Republic Drive
      Gloucester, MA 01930
      Attn: ALWTRP Scoping

    3. email: