Wilmington, NC – A new rule filed Monday bans gillnet fishing off South Carolina's coast during right whale calving season.
NOAA Fisheries Service says there is now a permanent ban on gillnetting from mid-November to mid-April. That's when right whales calve off the southeastern U-S coast. NOAA Fisheries Biologist Barb Zoodsma says the gillnet restriction now includes waters within 35 nautical miles off the South Carolina coast.
Some right whales stay in that area and give birth to their calves there, so we think that it's an important area and therefore we expanded the protections to that area.
NOAA Fisheries says 20 calves were born last season with two known deaths. There are roughly 300 right whales left.
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