Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Jared Golden have been outspoken advocates for Maine lobstermen, who are currently engaged in a battle with the clock to comply with another round of onerous rules that are set to take effect on May 1.

The cost of compliance with these new regulations is astronomical, and the scarcity of gear has put the future of Maine’s iconic lobster fishing industry in jeopardy. Estimates are that it will cost Maine fishermen at least $45 million to implement the changes deemed necessary by the federal government. That’s why Collins has asked the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee for funding, in addition to the $10 million she previously secured, to help defray the cost of compliance.

Considering the fact that NOAA’s own data shows that Maine’s lobster industry has never been linked to the known death of a right whale, this extra funding is the very least that the federal government can do to help protect our livelihoods and local economies.

I worry about the future of this industry and this way of life. I appreciate the Maine delegation’s work, especially Collins and Golden, for working to delay the implementation of the new rules to allow for the necessary time to acquire compliant gear.

Dustin Delano


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