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Politics

Maine's Lobster Industry Tallies HUGE Win in Court

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One of the most endearing facets of America’s cultural identity is our abject diversity.  Each one of the states in the union has a character all her own, from the slang an the accents, all the way down to music and art styles.

But when it comes to these sort regional distinctions, perhaps none is as diverse, or delicious, as our local delicacies. From crawfish in the deep south to wine out west, America produces some truly fine cuisine.

In the great state of Maine, however, one of the region’s most popular dishes was recently under attack by an environmental group.

Lobsterman Curt Brown had already logged a full day on the water by the time he pulled up to a fishing wharf just blocks from downtown Portland restaurants bustling with lunchtime diners.

The 250 to 300 pounds of lobster he had hauled up from the cold Maine waters could land on a plate just up the street – or in a restaurant on the other side of the globe. And on this chilly December day, Brown was feeling more hopeful about the prospects for Maine’s iconic lobster industry.

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“I think our industry, for the first time in a long time, can see a ray of sunshine and feel optimistic that the hard work we have been doing is being recognized,” Brown said.

So, what exactly happened?

Just a day earlier, the lobster industry had received welcome news in the fishery’s years-long battle with environmental groups over protections for the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

The state’s congressional delegation – which has locked arms with Maine’s billion-dollar lobster industry – had pulled off a procedural end-run by inserting a 6-year delay on new federal fishing regulations into a $1.7 trillion spending bill.

For Maine’s 5,000 licensed commercial lobstermen, it meant a reprieve from rules that they warned could destroy their industry – and decimate coastal communities – by forcing them off the water in some areas for months at a time and eliminating the vertical lines of rope connecting a string of traps on the bottom to a buoy on the surface. Those lines can become wrapped around whales’ fins or lodged in their mouths. But “ropeless” fishing gear, which relies on technology to allow fishermen to call a trap up to the surface, is still in development and is not available on a wide scale commercially.

Lobster fishing advocates have long reiterated that there are no documented incidents in which a right whale has been harmed by lobster fishing gear, but to no avail, as retailers capitulated to the public pressure campaigns and began to eliminate Maine Lobster from their stores.

 

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About the Author:
As a lifelong advocate for the dream promised us in the Constitution, Andrew West has spent his years authoring lush prose editorial dirges regarding America's fall from grace and her path back to prosperity. When West isn't railing against the offensive whims of the mainstream media or the ideological cruelty that is so rampant in the US, he spends his time seeking adventurous new food and fermented beverages, with the occasional round of golf peppered in.




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