Maine Lobstermen’s Association Appeals ‘Deeply Disappointing’ Court Decision That Would End Maine’s Lobstering Heritage

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The Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) today announced the filing of a Notice of Appeals to the US Court of Appeals of Columbia Circuit in Maine’s Lostermen’s Assocation vs the National Marine Fisheries Services – its lawsuit to reverse a scientifically-flawed federal whale plan that will cripple Maine’s lobster industry.

In September 2021, MLA filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s draconian and fundamentally flawed 10-year whale protection plan that will all but eliminate the Maine lobster dishery yet will still fail to save the endangered North Atlantic right whale.  MLA argues the National Marine Fisheries Service acted arbitrarily when it faled to rely on the best scientific information, accounts for the positive impact of conservation measures already adopted by the Maine lobster fishery and designed a plan aimed at curing unrealistic “worst-case scenarios.”  On September 8, 2022, a federal judge in Washington, D.C.  ruled against MLA in an opinion that deferred to NMFS on all counts without disputing the validity of MLA’s concerns.

The Maine lobster fishery is essential to Maine’s culture, heritage and economy.  For more than 175 years, the fishery has supported communities and generations of families in Maine, while ensuring that this important natural resource is sustainably harvested for generations to come.

“We refuse to let a single judge’s decision by the last word,” said Kristen Porter, President of the MLA.  “The facts are clear.  Maine lobstermen are not driving the whale dtowards extinction.  There has never been a known right whale mortality associated with Maine lobster gear and there has not been a sigle known right whale entanglement with Maine lobster gear in nearly two decades.”  Porter stated that the MLA will fight to block federal actions without credible scientific support or an evidence-based plan to protect whales from harm.  “If we have to go all the way to the Supreme Court to protect our hardworking families and preserve coastal communities with a multi-generational heritage of wise leadership, that is what we will do.”

More information on the campaign can be found at www.savemainelobstermen.org.

For information on the MLA’s and Governor Janet T. Mills (D), statements on the court’s stinging rejection of the MLA lawsuit, please visit posts herein dated September 9, 2022 and September 8, 2022.

 

 

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