Maine harvests 80% of the world's lobster and Maine lobstermen have been doing it for generations, with the first documented catch of Maine lobster dating back to the 1600s. Maine lobstermen are finding themselves under attack yet again by being red-listed by Seafood Watch. The seafood watch program is from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and some restaurants and retailers reference the seafood watch list before they make decisions on purchasing seafood. The concern is that this could have an impact on Maine lobster sales. Maine lobster sales contribute $1 billion annually to Maine's economy.
Maine lobstermen are already dealing with a loss in court with the ruling on Thursday, September 8th from the U.S. District Court of Columbia after the court sided with the National Marine Fisheries Service and said new regulations imposed in 2021 could not be overturned. New regulations were put in place to protect the right whale population from entanglement even though the last entanglement of a right whale with lobster gear in Maine waters was back in 2004. After that, changes were made to the gear and the ropes, and there have been no documented entanglements of the right whale in Maine lobster gear since 2004.
Maine Governor Janet Mills said, "The regulations are not based on sound science, not proven fact, and will often pose a risk of devastating Maine's lobster industry." Former Maine Governor Paul LePage, who is also currently running for governor, said "Maine lobstermen are outstanding stewards of our environment."
Now you can help by signing the petition at Change.org to save the Maine lobster industry. There are currently 228 signatures and the goal is to get at least 500, which will likely have the petition featured in recommendations, which will help more people see it and ultimately sign it. You can also help out by forwarding the petition to your friends and family that enjoy Maine lobster and asking them to sign it.