Top Maine lawmakers and officials met with the media on Friday to express their outrage at what they called an unconscionable blow to Maine’s lobster industry.
US Senator Angus King, Governor Janet Mills and several members of Maine’s lobster community have called for the immediate rescinding of a designation they say will devastate the livelihoods of thousands of Mainers along the coast. .
The outrage comes from the designation of what King called a “fish zoo”, the Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. maine lobster list on their seafood “Red List” because they claim lobster poses a risk to right whales.
This designation has already caused some major Maine lobster buyers to stop buying the product, and others have reportedly followed suit.
A press release issued by lawmakers says there was scientific evidence that was ignored when Monteray Bay proposed the designation.
Maine leaders then outline three key facts omitted from Seafood Watch’s ‘Red List’ assessment:
- There have been no right whale entanglements with Maine lobster gear since 2004, and no right whale deaths or serious injuries have ever been attributed to Maine lobster gear.
- The majority of right whale deaths since 2017 have been due to ship strikes in Canada. In fact, 23 of the 30 whales that died between 2017 and 2019 were either found in Canadian waters or the result of entanglement in Canadian fishing gear.
- Maine’s lobster community has taken many steps, including removing all floating ropes (the type of rope most likely to entangle whales) and removing more than 30,000 miles of line from the water, facts that your report conveniently ignores.”
But this “red list designation” wasn’t the only blow to Maine’s lobster industry this week.
Governor Mills and lawmakers also lambasted a recent ruling against the Maine Lobstermen’s Association in U.S. District Court. In the decisionthe judge rejected the MLA’s attempt to delay new National Marise Fisheries Service rules designed to protect endangered whales.
Said the Governor of Maine,
“Maine Lobsters care about the endangered right whale and have taken substantial action to protect them at great personal expense; but the federal government’s regulations are simply not based on solid science or proven facts. This Federal Court decision, so out of touch with reality, adds insult to injury to an industry that supports the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Maine families. We will continue to support Maine lobsters and speak with the Maine Lobsterman’s Association regarding next steps.
The Lobstermen who spoke at Friday’s press conference expressed a unified desire to protect the dwindling right whale population. They saw the major changes they have made, out of their own pockets, to ensure they harvest lobster sustainably while being responsible stewards of a habitat shared with whales. They also indicated that if these rulings and designations are not reversed, it will decimate the Maine lobster industry.
Senator King said that with each passing day with these decisions in place, more money and more jobs will be at risk.
Downeast Maine’s Best Lobster Restaurants
So when your starving relatives or friends from out of state come to our great state, where do you take them for a mouth-watering lobster dinner?
Answering this oft-asked question will be a priority for many Mainers this season, as thousands of tourists, relatives and friends travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to take in the sights and eat what our state is for. the most famous. , Lobster.
Whether it’s lobster salad, in a hot dog roll, grilled tail, tossed in a pot of boiling seawater, or God forbid, turned into lobster poutine, people from near and far crave it, and as soon as they make it that part of the country, it’ll be what they’re having for dinner that night.