Fisherman and lawmakers rally against federal restrictions

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STONINGTON, Maine (WABI) - Lobsterman and Fisherman alike rallied against the federal restrictions in their industry.

The crowds of people in attendance were all there to have their voices heard.

As people filed in, they were encouraged to write letters to their state lawmakers. Some of who, spoke on their behalf.

"I stand with you, I will do everything I can as your Governor. To protect your rights and your livelihoods and to defend Maine's lobstering industry in the face of this absurd federal overreach," said Governor Janet Mills.

But the number one issue on the minds of everyone, is the protection of the right whale.

An endangered species of whale that organizations like NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the government are trying to protect with some of these regulations.

Many of these fisherman and lawmakers however claim the industry in Maine does not affect the whales, and that most of what happens to the whales is in other areas like Canada.

"Protecting the right whale is a long term endeavor. And protecting the lobstering industry is as well. So we wanted to get as many lobsterman into one place together. To bring themselves together and have a conversation not only about the problem today but about how they can continue to get the word out and work together in the future," said State Representative Jared Golden.

This rally though gave fisherman the opportunity to speak about the consequences that these regulations have had.

"We had a trap reduction. We went from 1200 traps to 800 traps. 8 to 10 years ago we have gone to sinking ground lines. And we've all lost traps. And in a lot of areas we knew it didn't have to be done. But we did it. As Maine fisherman we did it," said Dick Larabee Jr., a local fisherman.

Some of the lawmakers in attendance said they are speaking with President Trump and NOAA to help lift some of these regulations.