Today, Maine is home to some of our nation’s last true working waterfronts. Our fishing heritage is part of what makes our state such a unique, beautiful, innovative, and sustaining place. Local families have relied on access to our abundant marine resources for generations, and our country depends on the food we supply. But in the midst of a global pandemic, with the ever-present threats of climate change, gentrification, and unpredictable regulatory changes, Maine’s working waterfronts and our marine industries are in danger of becoming extinct.
Maine’s lobster fishermen are incredible stewards of marine resources. For many years they have pioneered innovative conservation methods designed to ensure the sustainable production of healthy seafood and preserve Maine's working waterfronts. Many are bolstering their own lobster businesses by adding aquaculture operations to diversify their income as a complement to their fishing business. Young people who have been unable to obtain commercial lobstering licenses have pursued aquaculture as a means of working on the water. Across all aquaculture lease and LPA holders in Maine, about 1 in 6 also holds a commercial lobstering license. There is no longer a separation between fishermen and sea farmers – the two groups are inextricably linked.
The Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA) stands with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) as they work to overcome the many challenges currently faced by the lobstering community. To that end, MAA has made a $5,000 donation to MLA's legal defense fund. We strongly encourage all Maine seafood producers, along with anyone who loves our iconic coast and premium seafood, to donate to this fund. MLA is accepting electronic payments directly on their website. By making a donation to the fund, you will help MLA defend the future of the lobstering sector, and quite literally help determine the future of our coast. We need all hands on deck.