Governor Mills, Congresswoman Pingree among officials to testify in defense of Maine’s lobster industry

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 9:05 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WABI) - Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Governor Mills will both testify in support of Maine’s lobster industry during a planned National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration scoping meeting in Portland Wednesday night.

Pingree and Mills will urge NOAA to make data-driven modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan.

Wednesday’s meeting will also provide the public with a final opportunity to make oral statements or to submit written testimony between now and October 11.

The event will take place at University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Community Education Center from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

In September, a Maine delegation led by Governor Mills, sent a letter directly to Seafood Watch, urging the organization to immediately reverse the controversial red-listing of Maine lobster.

Governor Mills and Maine’s bipartisan Congressional Delegation have been steadfastly opposed to the undue burdens that have been imposed on the state’s lobster fishery through NOAA’s rulemaking process.

Following the release of NOAA’s final rule in late August 2021, the Maine Delegation and Governor Mills issued a statement in opposition to the rule while highlighting the significant modifications Maine lobstermen have made to make their gear safe for right whales.

In October 2021, the Maine leaders wrote to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urging her to rescind the unscientific rule, and in February 2022 they called for a postponement of the rule due to pandemic-related difficulties lobstermen had obtaining the compliant gear.