Feds Reconsider Restrictions Impacting Maine Lobstermen
October 17, 2007
AUGUSTA – Governor John E. Baldacci learned today that the federal government has reconsidered a decision to impose temporary restrictions on the type of equipment used by Maine lobstermen in Washington County.
The Governor had contacted the Director of Fisheries at the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Fisheries), Dr. William Hogarth, requesting a review of the Dynamic Area Management (DAM) restrictions. He argued, among other reasons, that Maine lobstermen would be unable to comply with the regulations and that these regulations would therefore severely impact the ability of lobstermen to operate.
“I am pleased that the state and the federal government, including our Congressional Delegation, have been able to work cooperatively on this serious issue impacting Maine lobstermen,” said Governor Baldacci. “I thank Director Hogarth for his willingness to immediately review this situation. While the short-term situation is resolved, this latest issue has highlighted the difficulties facing our lobster industry as final rules regarding fishing lines are imposed next year. I continue to be concerned about the impact to this community.”
NOAA Fisheries decided to forgo the imposition of the temporary DAM restrictions after conducting a flyover to determine if right whales were in Maine waters. The overfly found no evidence of the whales being in the area.