More Time For Lobstermen 

NOAA’s Fisheries Service announced Friday that the conversion date has been pushed back, from October until April 5, 2009. The rule change is intended to protect whales from becoming entangled in the ropes.

Besides lobstermen, the sinking rope rules apply to other East Coast fishermen who use crab and fish pots and traps.

Fishery regulators say the extension will have little effect on whales, but will give fishermen more time to comply with the rules.