Portland, Maine, Oct. 16, 2021 – The Maine Lobstering Union (MLU) has won emergency relief to stop the impending closure of productive lobster waters off the coast of Maine. Injunctive relief was granted by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine on Saturday, Oct. 16.
The closure would have impacted a large area of prime lobstering territory. Lobster fishing constitutes a much larger part of Maine’s economy than it does for any other Atlantic state.
Joining the MLU as plaintiffs in the case are the Fox Island Lobster Company of Vinalhaven and Frank Thompson, a sixth-generation fisherman, who, together with his wife Jean, own and operate Fox Island; and the Damon Family Lobster Company of Stonington. The lawsuit was filed by the Portland, Maine law firm of McCloskey, Mina, Cunniff & Frawley, LLC
“This victory by the Maine Lobstering Union is a significant step in protecting one of Maine’s most precious industries – lobstering,” said Alfred Frawley, the attorney who represented the Maine Lobstering Union in the case. “Our lobstermen have put generations of time, effort, and substantial financial resources into their craft. The lobstering industry is not only a treasure to Maine but a treasure to our American history. The regulations proposed by federal agencies would have had a chilling impact on communities throughout Maine. We will continue to push for science and data that reflect what is truly happening in our industry.”
In addition to filing this lawsuit in the District of Maine, the MLU remains an active intervenor in CBD v. Ross, an active case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The Maine Lobstering Union (MLU) is a division of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) District 4 and the only association-based cooperative in the lobster industry owned and operated by Maine lobstermen. The MLU supports Maine’s lobster community and is committed to the sustainability and safety of Maine’s lobstermen and women and all wildlife that occupy and rely upon the fishery.