Today, Dec. 20, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden, and Governor Janet Mills announced that they were successful in securing a regulatory pause for Maine’s lobster industry in the omnibus appropriations bill that is expected to pass the Senate and House this week.
Maine’s lobstermen and women have long demonstrated their commitment to maintaining and protecting a sustainable fishery in the Gulf of Maine. They have invested in countless precautionary measures to protect right whales, including removing more than 30,000 miles of line from the water and switching to weaker rope to prevent whales from being entangled. And the fact is— there has never been a right whale death attributed to Maine lobster gear. Despite our industry’s good stewardship and compliance with NMFS’ most recent regulations to protect right whales, our lobstermen and women are now faced with further punitive regulations that will not meaningfully protect the right whale, but will threaten the livelihoods of thousands of Maine families and small businesses.
Our full statement: pic.twitter.com/arGyNaqWxp
— Congresswoman Chellie Pingree 🇺🇸 🇺🇦 (@chelliepingree) December 20, 2022
A lifeline for Maine’s lobstermen and women was included in the government funding package released this morning. Although there has never been a right whale death attributed to Maine lobster gear, NOAA has been preparing actions that could end lobstering in Maine.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) December 20, 2022