Court Agrees to Lobstermen’s Motion to Expedite Appeal!


Patrice McCarron, Executive Director of MLA and Kevin Kelley, Director of Advancement at MLA, at a Press Conference  in Portland, Earlier This Year.

Today, Wednesday, October 19, 2022, a federal appeals court sided with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) in granting the MLA’s request  to expedite consideration of its appeal of the decision in Maine Lobstermen’s Association vs. National Marine Fisheries Service.  The Court rarely grants motions to expedite.

On October 11, the MLA announced that it has retained former US Solicitor General Paul Clement and had filed for expedited consideation of MLA’s appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the District of columbia in its lawsuit to reverse a scientifically-flawed federal whale plan that will cripple Maine’s lobster industry.

In granting the motion for expedited appeals, the court laid out a tmeline that requires all briefs to be submitted by January 10, 2023.

“We are pleased that the appeals court understands the urgency of hearing our argument that National Marine Fisheries has abused its discretion and that it’s current whale plan will not only destroy our industry and our livelihoods, but also won’t recover the right whale,” said Patrice McCarron, Executive Director of the MLA.

In September 2021, MLA filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s fundamentally flawed 10-year whale protection plan that will all but eliminate the Maine lobster fishery yet still fail to save the endangered North Atlantic right whale.  MLA argues that NMFS has overstimated the lobster industry’s risk to right whales by cherry-picking the science and using unsupported assumptions and “worst-case scenarios” to justify its mandate for Maine’s lobster fishery to reduce its already minimal risk to right whales by 98%.  MLA claims that NMFS also failed to follow mandatory legal requirements to assess the economic and social costs of their actions.

On September 8, 2022,  a federal judge in Washington, D>C. ruled against MLA in an opinion that deferred to the federal agency on all counts without disputing the validity of MLA’s concerns.  As a result, NMFS is now fast-tracking the 10-year whale plan and will require Maine’s lobster industry to implement an unachievable 90-percent “risk reduction” as quickly as possible or the federal lobster fishery could be shutdown,” acording to the press release from MLA issued this afternoon.

Please see post herein dated October 11, 2022 for more information on the hiring of former US Solicitor General Paul Clement to represent MLA in this successful appeal effort.

One thought on “Court Agrees to Lobstermen’s Motion to Expedite Appeal!

  1. It sounds like a classic case of the feds “knowing more “ than the state while not comprehending the big picture! To kill the Maine lobster industry while not impacting the right whale population is as short sighted
    as it gets!

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