Last winter as part of a pilot project, some Massachusetts lobstermen were allowed to fish in areas that are seasonally closed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. But they had to use so-called "on-demand" or "ropeless" fishing gear and work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to share their feedback.

Now NOAA wants to expand the program to include lobster and other fixed-gear fishermen throughout New England.

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