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Federal drones checking out lobster gear off Maine

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 11:07 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hopes to step up use of underwater video cameras to inspect lobster trap lines to ensure compliance with federal rules.

The video cameras can alert inspectors whether lobstermen are complying with requirements to insert weak links into their traplines, to help whales break through the rope, and to use rope that sinks to the bottom.

Michael Henry, a top fisheries enforcement officer for the NOAA in the Northeast, said the agency is hiring a contractor and may buy additional smaller versions to step up enforcement.

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