Maine Legislative Republicans announce legislation they say will support Maine’s beleaguered lobster industry

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:17 PM EST
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HALLOWELL, Maine (WABI) - Maine Legislative Republicans gathered at Hallowell Seafood and Produce today to announce legislation they say will support Maine’s beleaguered lobster industry.

They say the industry has been unfairly singled out by the environmental groups Marine Stewardship Council and Seafood Watch which pulled their certifications of Maine lobster.

Because of that, Whole Foods, which has a store in Portland, has banned the sale of Maine lobster at its stores.

Senator Trey Stewart says they are submitting legislation that would ban any business from particpating in the state’s business equipment tax reimbursement and exemption programs that restricts the sale or distribution of any Maine-based goods that are legally harvested, grown or produced based on a third party boycott.

Representative Billy Bob Faulkingham, who is also a lobsterman, says it will take an effort from all Mainers to preserve the industry.

“They specifically targeted the Maine lobster and the Maine lobster fishery, which is the gold standard of sustainability, and they chose to target us. There’s literally an area called the gray zone in eastern Maine, where Canadians and Maine fishermen fish out of the same water in the same area. And the MSC is still taking those Canadian lobsters, which are caught right beside the Maine fishermen. So, I mean, you want to talk about anti-science because it can’t get any more than that when you’re saying the lobster pulled up in the same exact spot.,” Rep. Faulkingham said.

The group of Republicans say they will also be asking the Attorney General to investigate the Marine Stewardship Council and Seafood Watch to see who they are funded by and what foreign governments are involved in their groups.