Virtually all Massachusetts state waters will be closed to commercial lobstering on March 5. The ban will run at least until May 1 as the central element in the state's enhanced protection measures for endangered North Atlantic right whales.
The closure is set to extend to May 15, but the state Division of Marine Fisheries retains the discretion to reopen all or portions of the closure after May 1 if it determines right whales no longer are present in state waters.
The state plan also contains new gear restrictions, including the use of break-away lines and maximum buoy line diameters to mitigate the potential for whale entanglements in gear.
This story will be updated at gloucestertimes.com.