Maine Lobstering Union-Local 207

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Current News

 
 
 
 
Sustainable Maine Fishing Foundation

The Maine Lobstering Union established Sustainable Maine FF a nonprofit with the ability to fundraise for our Legal Fund. The North Atlantic Right Whale fight will continue for years. We have put together a top notch legal team from Maine, law firm McCloskey, Mina, Cunniff & Frawley, LLC; they intimately understand our industry and have a passion for justice for the Maine fishermen.  Donate today to help continue to defend the Maine Lobstermen. 

 Send donations to: Sustainable Maine FF,  150 Bar Harbor Rd., Trenton, ME 04605

Bloomberg Government
Maine Lobster Fishing Limits Reinstated to Protect Right Whales
  • Rule seasonally bars use of buoy ropes

  • Agency used best evidence available, 1st Cir. says

By Maya Earls / November 17, 2021 10:50AM ET / Bloomberg Law

Maine lobstermen and women face a setback after the First Circuit reinstated a seasonal ban on certain fishing equipment to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The lower court “misapprehended the record and over-stepped its role” when it rejected the federal government’s findings in support of its rule barring the use of lobster fishing with buoy lines, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Although “there are serious stakes on both sides, Congress has placed its thumb on the scale for the whales,” the court said Tuesday.

The Maine Lobstering Union and lobster companies sued after the National Marine Fisheries Service barred the use of buoy ropes off the coast of Maine from October to January. The fishing group successfully convinced the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine to block the rule from going into effect while the lawsuit proceeds.

The lower court criticized the agency’s modeling data, and said the public interest weighed in favor of the fishing group. But the agency “did everything it was supposed to do when using a model,” the appeals court said, “It relied on the best evidence it had available and updated the inputs as new information emerged.”

Congress doesn’t require the agency to wait for more data or wait until whales are swimming among “life-threatening lines,” the court said.

The agency said the closure could cost fishermen and women between $635,000 and $1.25 million. The fishing group’s challenge to that estimate relied on evidence that’s “sketchy” at best, the court said. Even taking the financial burden into account, leaving the lower court’s decision in place would cause irreparable harm by preventing the agency from protecting right whales, the court said.

The appeals court directed the lower court to resolve any disputes over the prompt removal of banned gear.

Judge William J. Kayatta Jr. issued the opinion, and he was joined by Judges David J. Barron and Gustavo A. Gelpí Jr.

“The bottom line is that this misguided ruling is going to make it even harder for Maine lobstering communities to sustain themselves,” said Dave Sullivan, chief of staff at the Machinists Union (IAM) Eastern Territory.

“The Maine Lobstering Union will vigorously fight this ruling and continue to have the backs of every family that relies on the freedom to fish in Maine’s coastal waters,” Sullivan said Wednesday.

Conservation groups that intervened in the lawsuit celebrated the court’s decision.

“The court recognized that entanglements pose an existential threat to right whales and that federal officials followed the science in implementing this important conservation measure,” said Kristen Monsell, oceans legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

“But the agency needs to do more to protect this incredibly vulnerable species from extinction,” Monsell said Wednesday.

McCloskey, Mina, Cunniff & Frawley LLC represented the Maine Lobstering Union, lobster companies, and an individual. The Justice Department represented the federal government.

The case is IAM Maine Lobstering Union Local 207 v. Raimondo, 1st Cir., Nos. 21-1873, 21-1874, 11/16/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maya Earls in Washington at mearls@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

 
Lobstering for the WIN!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Maine Lobstering Union Wins in Court to Protect Lobster Fishermen, Communities

 

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.

 
Maine Lobstering Union Files Federal Lawsuit for Emergency Injunctive Relief Against National Marine Fisheries Service et. al. - PR.com

NOAA's Final North Atlantic Right Whale Rule

ALWTRPSummary09142021 (noaa.gov)

DC District Court Case

NMFS submitted the new ITS (Incidental Take Statement) with the BiOp June 2nd. The plaintiff opposed the ITS saying it was unlawful. Intervenors supported NMFS ITS. 

We filed a brief in summary stating the plaintiff needs to file a new lawsuit to challenge the validity of the ITS which they have a right to do, just not in THIS lawsuit. Now we wait to see how the Judge will rule.

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About Us

Local 207

Our local started in 2013, after the lobster market crashed in 2012. The Maine Lobstering Union was formed to give fishermen a unified voice at the state and federal level- a voice of just fishermen. So we could unite and fight for our rights.  We also wanted to provide an opportunity for our fishermen to capitalize on the profits of owning their own Co-op.  Maine fishermen control the product from the ocean floor to your door.  We have a GREAT team working for us at "Lobster 207" if you need to ship lobsters look no further!    Fresh & Live Maine Lobster: Sustainably Caught & Shipped Directly from Lobstermen | Lobster 207  You DO NOT have to sell your catch to Lobster 207 to be a member of Local 207.

Join - Local 207

Active Fishing

If you are fishing- you are "Active". Dues for one month of "Active Fishing" is $70.00, you can pay as many months as you want. If you participate in the dividend program or any poundage based programs with Lobster 207 your dues must be paid for the month to participate.

 Non-Active Fishing

If you are out of work for the month due to repairs or injury you are "Non-Active". Some fishermen don't fish certain winter months- Dues for Non-Active fishing for a month are $2.00 If you participate in the dividend program or any poundage based programs with Lobster 207 you must be "Active" if you have poundage to add that month.

Full Year Receives a
Free Shirt!

If you pay your dues for the full year (all 12 at once) you will get a free t-shirt!

Any questions about how to sell product to Lobster 207  Contact Mike Yohe, CEO