News Feature

Portland
Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 24, 2021
Lobstermen’s group launches $10M fundraising campaign
Warns of whale rule impact

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association on November 16 announced a three-year, $10 million fundraising campaign to fight the whale rule announced this summer by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA seeks to protect the endangered right whale with the rule, part of a 10-year plan that will continue to add restrictions to lobster fishermen.

MLA says the plan will destroy the lobster fishing industry and won’t save any whales.

“Maine’s lobstering industry directly supports more than 10,000 jobs and is worth roughly a half billion dollars at the dock each year,” said Patrice McCarron, the MLA’s executive director, in a statement. “Every Maine lobster boat is owned and operated by a local lobsterman and every one of those dollars is spent in our local economy.”

In September, the group filed a lawsuit against the federal government to stop the plan. MLA, in a press release, said that it is working with scientists to make sure that any whale conservation plan uses the most up-to-date science.

The MLA is also engaging with lobstermen to develop innovative gear that protects right whales as well as the lobstering industry.

Finally, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association plans to communicate to the public the serious threat the whale rule poses to the Maine lobster industry and to thousands of Maine small businesses. As part of the campaign, the MLA established a website, SaveMaineLobstermen.org.