The Maine Lobstermen’s Association announced Monday, March 13, that it will file a defamation lawsuit against the California-based aquarium over allegations against the industry.
The lawsuit was filed by Bean Maine Lobster Co., Maine Lobster Association, Maine Coastal Fishermen’s Association, Atwood Lobster LLC, Bug Catcher Inc. owned by Jerry Cushman, a 6th generation fisherman of Port Clyde. filed in court. Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.
Last September, the Aquarium announced that it had placed American lobster on the “Red List.” This urges consumers not to buy and eat lobster due to overfishing concerns that the aquarium says could harm the endangered North Atlantic right whale. .
“The aquarium does not acknowledge that lobster is one of the most sustainable fisheries in the world, with effective stewardship practices handed down through generations of lobster fishermen,” says Lobtermen. The association said in a news release. “These include strict protections for both lobster stocks and right whales. Decisions not based on sound science can seriously harm those who work hard to keep the industry thriving. there is.”
The lawsuit challenges the Aquarium’s claim that “scientific data” show Maine’s lobster fishing practices are causing harm to North Atlantic right whales. The lawsuit argues that Aquarium’s claims are not in fact supported by science, and that Aquarium’s misrepresentations have been blamed on plaintiffs, Maine’s lobster brand, and Maine’s long-standing reputation for a protected, pristine coastal environment. It claims to cause substantial economic damage. Through a multi-generational tradition of preserving resources for the future.
Phone messages were left Monday afternoon by two different representatives of the Monterey Aquarium requesting a response. There was no immediate reply.
In December 2022, the U.S. Congress approved a six-year moratorium on new right whale regulations for the lobster industry.
Statewide, lobster harvesters hauled 97.9 million pounds of lobster, with docks valued at $388.4 million, according to the Department of Marine Resources. This is down from his 2021 record blockbuster, which landed him £110m statewide and paid harvesters his $742m.
In Knox County, lobster harvesters harvested 26 million pounds of the state’s most valuable shellfish in 2022, paid $110 million at $4.22 per pound. This is down from his 2021, when he landed £29.9m and had a total record value of $206.9m, equating to his $6.91 price per pound.
This represents a nearly 50% drop in Knox County-wide values from 2021 to 2022. The 2022 Knox County catch is the lowest since 2013.
“It is logical that groups claiming to be concerned with conservation and sustainability would lead innovation in safer equipment and give lower ratings to a fishery that has had almost two decades of undocumented interactions with right whales. It’s the opposite,” said the Maine industry.
The industry is asking the court to find that the aquarium has defamed the lobster industry, and that the aquarium should remove “all defamatory statements regarding Maine’s lobster industry and its fishing practices” from its website and other publications. I am seeking an injunction to remove it. damages, award of plaintiff’s reasonable attorneys’ fees, and court costs in an amount to be determined by the court. and punitive damages.
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