MLA ready for battle



To the Editor:

More than 200 years ago, Benjamin Franklin, reflecting on the possibility of the American colonies’ successful revolt against Great Britain, said, “We must indeed all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

Today, Maine lobstermen face a similar situation. The fishery is threatened by the potential for new whale regulations, a looming bait crisis and uncertainties in global seafood markets.

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA), founded in 1954, is conducting its annual membership drive and invites all lobstermen and the public to become members.

For more than 60 years, the MLA has tackled numerous issues with the potential to harm Maine’s lobster industry. The MLA worked to ensure that landing of dragger-caught lobsters remains prohibited in the state, that Maine’s lobster conservation practices are applied throughout the range of the fishery, and that in-shore lobstermen be exempted from federal right whale regulations.

As the lead advocacy organization for Maine lobstermen, the MLA makes sure that the perspective of its members are heard, not just at the state level but at the regional and federal levels. Whether it’s in the halls of Augusta or the halls of Congress, the MLA uses its stature and years of knowledge to protect the Maine lobster fishery and the many men and women who depend on its continued success.

The MLA was established by lobstermen who understood that the industry is strongest when it works together. Today’s MLA Board is comprised of lobstermen from every zone, reflecting the diversity of the Maine lobster fishery.

The board recently elected a new president, Kristan Porter of Cutler. Under Porter’s leadership, the MLA has fought proposals for ropeless fishing, intervened in the court case seeking more stringent whale protection measures, and has opposed the development of offshore ocean energy.

During the annual membership drive, lobstermen and the public are urged to become members and help the MLA continue the fight.

Call the MLA if you have never been a member or if your membership has lapsed for five or more years to learn more about an introductory rate. Members are encouraged to submit their renewals now and new members are invited to join. For more information visit www.mainelobstermen.org or call 207-967-4555.

Patrice McCarron

Maine Lobstermen’s Association

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