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MLA press conference BDN credit Troy Bennett.jpg


On June 16, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the MLA in its appeal of a lower court ruling in Maine Lobstermen's Association v. National Marine Fisheries Service.In its ruling, the Court wrote: “In this case, we decide whether, in a biological opinion, the Service must, or even may, when faced with uncertainty, give the “benefit of the doubt” to an endangered species by relying upon worst-case scenarios or pessimistic assumptions. We hold it may not. The ESA and the implementing regulations call for an empirical judgment about what is “likely.” The Service’s role as an expert is undermined, not furthered, when it distorts that scientific judgment by indulging in worst-case scenarios and pessimistic assumptions to benefit a favored side.”

Become a Member Today!

Major issues including drastic changes to the Whale Rules and the implementation of offshore wind farms are looming over Maine’s lobster fishery. The MLA remains your strongest advocate, the one with experience, knowledge, and the determination to protect this industry. We are the organization that will speak up against unfair regulations and advocate on your behalf.

Many lobstermen have trusted the MLA for almost 70 years. Shouldn’t you?

Join today and share your commitment to protecting Maine’s lobster fishery. MLA has been and will continue to work diligently, day by day, month by month, to fight for what we believe in – our fishermen, the sustainable wild-caught food they provide, the jobs and economic stability they create for our rural coastal communities, and the continued opportunity for our children to live and work in Maine. Whether you are a commercial harvester, a business which serves the lobstering community, or just someone passionate about the coast of Maine and it's iconic catch, your member support matters.



As a result of the June 2023 Appeals Court ruling, the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) Biological Opinion and the ten-year whale plan (along with its draconian 98-percent risk reduction), are no longer valid, and a law passed by Congress in December 2022 gives the industry some breathing room. To keep our fishery open, Maine lobstermen must continue to fish under the current whale protection rules. Meantime, NMFS must develop and implement a new Biological Opinion and Final Whale Rule by the end of 2028 without skewing the science against the Maine lobster fishery. Meantime, MLA will need the financial resources required to continue to advocate strongly for a plan that will protect whales without sacrificing the lobster fishery and Maine’s lobstering heritage. Your ongoing support is critical. Please consider donating or volunteering.

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We advocate for a sustainable lobster resource & the fishermen and communities that depend on it.

The MLA was founded in 1954 and is currently the oldest and largest fishing industry association on the east coast. Representing 1,200 members, the MLA works to sustain both the industry and the resource. The MLA strives to be proactive on issues affecting the lobster industry and is active in the management process at the state, regional and federal levels. For more than 60 years, the MLA has provided a credible voice for the industry on important issues and is highly regarded by both the fishing industry and the management community.

The MLA is a 501 (c)(6) organization and contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions.

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