DMR Commissioner Keliher’s Statement on Canadian Lobster Protests

August 3, 2012

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 3, 2012
Contact: Deirdre Gilbert (207) 624-6576

HALLOWELL - On Thursday, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) obtained information regarding alleged protests by Canadian lobstermen over shipments of Maine lobster to New Brunswick processing plants. In response, DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher issued the following statement:

“The information that we received yesterday regarding the blockading of Canadian processing plants and the prevention of deliveries of Maine lobsters on some trucks was very disturbing. My staff and I made a concerted effort to obtain a clear understanding of the scope of the problem, as well as the steps needed to get it resolved. At this time, it appears that two processing companies in Cap-Pele and one in Shediac were blockaded by protesting fishermen and at least two Maine trucks were escorted back to the border, unable to deliver the lobsters they carried.

I take this situation very seriously, and am working to avoid any further disruption to the markets that could complicate an already difficult lobster season in Maine. Later today I will speak directly with the New Brunswick Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Michael Olscamp. I feel confident that Minister Olscamp appreciates Maine’s concerns in this situation and will work with us to resolve any obstructions to free trade between our countries.

The Governor is fully aware of the ramifications of these developments, and is prepared to speak directly with the Canadian Premier, should that become necessary. Finally, Maine’s congressional delegation has been kept up to speed as information became available, and are also prepared to assist as appropriate. Please be assured that we are taking any and all action necessary to remedy this situation.”