Massachusetts Whale Fishing Act (2012)

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The Massachusetts Whale Fishing Act did not make the November 6, 2012 general election ballot in the state of Massachusetts as an initiated state statute. The measure was filed by Richard Maximus Strahan and was assigned initiative number 11-19.[1]

The measure would have specifically banned the use of gillnetting and vertical buoy rope when fishing in state waters. The state has jurisdiction over the first three miles of ocean beyond the harbor line. The ban of these methods of fishing, according to supporters of the measure, would protect whales and sea turtles from getting harmed.[2]



  • State gillnetter Lou Williams was opposed to the measure, stating that the impact of the measure could negatively affect the fishing industry: "We do everything we can to avoid whales and turtles." Williams also stated that entanglement of a whale had not happened in his 40 years in the business.[2]

Path to the ballot

Backers needed to collect 68,911 signatures by the December 7, 2011 petition drive deadline. The measure did not submit signatures by that deadline.

See also