Maine’s congressional delegation says President Trump should intervene to protect the state’s lobster industry while regulators are working on new rules designed to protect whales.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s working on a rulemaking process to help save the North Atlantic right whale, which numbers only about 400. The process is a challenge for Maine lobstermen, who are being called on to reduce trap lines in the water.

Maine’s four-member delegation sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday calling the forthcoming rules “a matter of serious economic importance to the state of Maine.” The delegation says new restrictions will force “significant economic hardship” on the lobster industry without concrete evidence they will benefit the whales.

Conservationists pushed back at the request. Defenders of Wildlife called it “a death sentence.”

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