Lobster feud boils over in Maine

Lobster feud boils over in Maine

The thorny dispute boiled over this week when one of Golden’s opponents, former Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin, slammed the incumbent during a recent debate over refusing to return the donation.

“During the debate … Jared Golden refused to return a donation from Julie Packard, the multi-millionaire heiress director of the anti-lobster group Seafood Watch,” the Poliquin spokesperson said in a campaign statement. “If Jared Golden doesn’t return the Seafood Watch donation, that tells Maine lobsters everything they need to know about him.”

Asked about the donation, Golden said Poliquin was “pretty desperate if he went through the FEC reports looking for things like this and found a check for $600 that we weren’t even aware of. running”.

He also defended the donation, insisting he would come to the defense of Maine’s lobster fishery.

“I’m not going to return the money, this woman’s organization is part of this network of non-profit organizations that are funding these lawsuits against our lobster fishermen,” Golden told POLITICO. “I’ll take every penny she gives me and donate every penny to our Maine Lobster Fishery Legal Defense Fund.”

The lawsuits Golden is talking about are those brought by various environmental groups under the Endangered Species Act.

The US District Court in DC recently ruled against Maine lobster fishermen and the National Marine Fisheries Services in a case brought by the Center for Biological Diversity. A judge concluded that lobster fishing regulations did not adequately protect right whales.

Seafood Watch and the Monterey Bay Aquarium say this case is central to their evidence that lobster should be avoided.

Seafood Watch says fishing gear for catching lobsters, traps called traps, which are thrown into the ocean with rope risk entangling whales, which can be deadly. But the Maine delegation vehemently rebuts, pointing to the fact that only one non-fatal entanglement attributed to the Maine lobster fishery has occurred since 2004.

“There are 340 right whales left in the North Atlantic. Seafood Watch has reviewed all available information, which has also been confirmed by a federal court to be the best science available,” a Seafood Watch spokesperson said. “The facts clearly show that management has not gone far enough to protect the North Atlantic right whale and a US District Court judge ruled in July 2022 that all trap/trap and gillnet fisheries in this region with vertical lines in the water are in violation. of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said Seafood Watch’s science is flawed and the listing is an “overt effort to put thousands out of work”, which has “no evidence on which to impose a penalty, let alone one as drastic as this”. .”

King suggested his staff were looking for ways to cut federal funding to the aquarium and Seafood Watch on the list. He also said he was gathering evidence to offer to Seafood Watch in hopes that they would revoke the listing.

“How do I represent the people of Maine and tell them they should pay their taxes to support an organization that has irresponsibly and blatantly attacked 5,000 or more good people in my state? I can not do that. King said in an interview. “So we’re checking to see if the aquarium or Seafood Watch is getting any federal research funds or anything like that, and I’ll do whatever I can to stop that.”

Burgess Everett contributed to this report.

#Lobster #feud #boils #Maine

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