In response to the threat of lawsuits, the National Marine Fisheries Service has pressured Maine into a proposal to reduce, by 50 percent, the number of vertical lines Maine fishermen use to haul their lobster traps. The only problem with this is that there is not one instance where a right whale entanglement and/or death was proven to have been caused by a Maine vertical fishing line.
Most Maine lobster gear is tended much closer to the coast than right whales would normally traverse. There are rare exceptions, but the vast majority of whales travel far offshore through the Gulf of Maine. Most Maine fishermen have never seen a right whale, including fishermen offshore, who already fish long trawls to reduce the number of vertical lines as much as can be safely done.