The way forward for Maine’s lobster trade at stake over proposed safety guidelines for the appropriate whale
AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) – The American lobster fishery is approaching a date when it would face new guidelines designed to attempt to save a species of whale from extinction.
I spoke with a lobster from Maine who mentioned if the foundations are put in place the lobster trade will face the identical destiny.
“We aren’t at fault. The fishermen in Maine are to not blame, ”mentioned John Drouin, who has been lobsters in Cutler for 42 years.
New federal laws to guard endangered North Atlantic proper whales, he mentioned, will probably be critical and expensive for the trade.
The Nationwide Maritime Fisheries Service is creating new guidelines, which ought to be finalized by Could 31, to scale back the potential for tangling in fishing gear, which may kill whales.
“I understand the talk retains coming and going, however if you happen to hearken to the teams which might be pressuring NOAA to do one thing, all they’re saying is that the whales are tangled. We don’t deny it. All we’re saying is whales aren’t entangled in Maine waters, ”Drouin mentioned.
Drouin says the foundations might put 1000’s of Maine lobsters out of labor for one thing he says the trade cannot be blamed for.
“Each time scientists say it’s important to do that to guard whales, we now have finished it, however they preserve asking for increasingly more,” Drouin mentioned.
The principles would limit fishing in sure areas and pressure 1000’s of Maine fishermen to buy costly ropeless gear.
“No fisherman can afford to purchase these units. If I had been to purchase them straight away for my gear, it might value me over $ 240,000 at present value, ”Drouin mentioned.
The Maine congressional delegation has joined the struggle to guard Maine’s lobsters, sending a letter to President Biden final week.
Within the letter, the members state: “Since 2002, there has not been a single critical proper whale harm or loss of life attributable to the Gulf of Maine or Georges Financial institution lobster fishery.”
Governor Mills additionally went to bat for the trade, saying, “If this occurs, it’s not simply the fishermen and their crew who will probably be affected, the gear suppliers, the entice makers, the entice makers. ropes – all of those firms face a deeply unsure future.
Drouin says he does not need the lobster trade to vanish, not just for himself, however for his two boys, who’re following in his footsteps.
“I’ve two sons of their early twenties who work within the fishing trade. I’ve been there for 42 years. I would love them to have the ability to say that in addition they made a profession of it, ”added Drouin.
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