Sign In  |  Register  |  About Burlingame  |  Contact Us

Burlingame, CA
September 01, 2020 10:18am
7-Day Forecast | Traffic
  • Search Hotels in Burlingame

  • ROOMS:

Maine lobstermen are clawing to keep livelihoods afloat amid push to sink industry

Maine lobster industry leaders are warning there's nothing left to take away from lobstermen who are battling a litigious agenda from green groups funded by liberal dollars.

The U.S. lobster industry is clawing to keep their livelihoods and sounding off on a potentially "devastating" legal battle against environmental groups funded by big bucks from liberal, dark money groups.

"It seems like there's always a battle in this industry," Lobster 207 CEO Mike Yohe said on "Fox & Friends First" Tuesday. "They have deep pockets, so they just file another lawsuit to get us out of the water or change gear or change how we fish in the state of Maine."

"The lobster industry is all we have here. And a lot of our coastal towns in my town, that's pretty much what everybody does," fourth-generation lobsterman Dustin Delano added on "Fox & Friends." "If you're not a lobster boat captain, you work on a lobster boat or you are involved in the supply chain, or you sell bait to the lobstermen, or you sell vehicles to lobstermen or in their crews. It's just one of our number one things here in Maine, and this coast would be completely devastated without it."

A recent Fox News Digital review of tax filings found environmental groups that have led litigation targeting the lobster fishing industry have been heavily funded by various liberal dark money groups that don't disclose their individual donors.


The organizations — the Center For Biological Diversity, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Defenders Of Wildlife — first filed a joint federal lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in 2018, arguing a rule issued by the agency years earlier failed to properly protect the endangered North Atlantic right whales from lobster fishing equipment.

In April 2020, a federal judge ruled in favor of the groups, ordering the NMFS to issue tighter restrictions. And in light of the decision, the Biden administration moved forward with new regulations of fishing equipment.

One of CLF’s earliest benefactors was the Wyss Foundation, an organization founded by liberal Swiss billionaire donor Hansjorg Wyss. The foundation has wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to the group and Wyss has pledged $10 million to it, The New York Times reported.

Lobster fishing leaders like Yohe and Delano claim there’s no evidence the industry has caused a staggering number of right whale deaths and warned the litigious agenda puts thousands of jobs at risk.

"They're just constantly taking NMFS to court and suing for more regulations and more regulations, and we've just gotten to a point now where there's not really anything left to take away if they get their way," Delano said.

"We spent $500,000-plus defending this, and 90% of that money came from fishermen," Yohe noted. "So these guys are going to work, making money and paying for their own legal battle against people with deep pockets and their own agendas. It's very frustrating."

Maine's lobster industry, which by state law is made up entirely of small business operators, provides the U.S. with about 90% of the nation's lobster supply, making the industry a top economic driver in the state, and boosting other related industries as well. In 2021, Maine's lobster fishery generated $724.9 million of revenue, the largest amount in state history.

But overregulation fueled by excessive legal action puts fishers’ bottom lines at risk of collapse.


"The reality is, we don't have whales here. We call it, ‘weaponizing of the whales;’ they're being used against us. Nobody wants to see a whale get hurt, but the fact of the matter is, if there is climate change and you're on that side, that's pushing the whale's food out of our water," Yohe said. "The whales are not here. So why are we in court trying to fish and protect something that we cannot save?"

"It's gotten to be a very drastic reality for us," Delano pointed out. "Maine lobstermen are just ordinary people, we're ordinary business owners, we're small operations. There's four or five thousand of us, and basically, we have these environmental groups that are up against us that are backed by so much money."


Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Copyright © 2010-2020 & California Media Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.