MACHIAS — Federal officials will meet with fishermen and other members of the public in a series of meetings about possible changes to rules designed to protect vulnerable whales.

A federal team has called for a reduction of the vertical trap lines in the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk to North Atlantic right whales, which number about 400. NOAA says it’s looking for comments on new management options.

NOAA says the first meeting was scheduled for Thursday night in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and the next is slated for Aug. 12 in Machias, Maine.

More meetings are scheduled for Aug. 13 in Ellsworth, Maine; Aug. 14 in Waldoboro, Maine; Aug. 15 in South Portland, Maine; Aug. 19 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Aug. 20 in Gloucester, Massachusetts; and Aug. 21 in Bourne, Massachusetts.

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