AUGUSTA — On Aug.10, United States District Judge Lance E. Walker issued an order denying a motion for interim injunctive relief from plaintiff Man Against Xtinction, also known as Max Strahan, in a lawsuit seeking to impose limits on the commercial fishing industry in order to protect endangered right whales.
The plaintiff’s motion had requested, in part, that the court issue a preliminary injunction against the Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher, as well as NOAA Fisheries, to prevent the agencies “from further licensing any fishing gear utilizing [vertical buoy ropes]” in both state and federal waters.
“I am gratified that the court determined the plaintiff had not met his burden on this motion, as it would have had severe impacts on the Maine fishery,” Keliher said in a statement. “Given that ropeless technologies have not been adequately developed, the use of vertical lines in the fishery are necessary for effective enforcement and operation of the fishery. The state of Maine continues to be committed to finding ways to reduce risk to right whales, while also ensuring the safety of our fishermen.”
Walker’s order does not dismiss the lawsuit and the litigation remains active.