WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden issued the following joint statement in response to Governor Mills’ decision to contest regulations that could threaten Maine’s lobster industry:
“Maine’s lobster industry supports the livelihoods of 4,800 state licensed lobstermen and more than 10,000 additional Mainers who work directly within the industry. These small businesses generate an economic impact of approximately $1.5 billion each year.
“We support the Governor’s decision to have the Maine Department of Marine Resources contest the 60 percent risk reduction target so that it more accurately reflects the actual risk posed to right whales by the Maine lobster industry.
“This reassessment is warranted in order to achieve a science-informed and equitable solution that protects the fragile right whale population without unfairly or disproportionately burdening the Maine lobster industry.
“We will continue to work closely with the lobstermen, state officials, and all stakeholders on this issue to ensure the resulting regulations reflect reality in the Gulf of Maine.”
The Maine delegation has worked together to raise the alarm over the process and data used to develop these proposed rules.