The lobster fishery is crucial to Maine's economy but Mainers feel their iconic fisheries are at risk and jobs are at stake. The plans proposed by Norwegian owned American Aquafarms for a massive salmon farm in Frenchman's Bay triggered alarms in coastal communities and ignited a call for reform of their aquaculture regulations.
State regulators allow aquaculture companies to lease up to 1,000 acres of ocean bottom for 20 year terms. Fisherman are voicing serious concerns about the impacts these industrial scale operations will have on the local fisheries, both economically and culturally. Protect Maine's Fishing Heritage, a state-wide coalition working to protect Maine's fishing heritage have created an impactful video that profiles local fishers voicing these concerns.
"You're forcing one industry to suffer for another industry to come on". - Lobster Fisherman, Rock Alley, Jonesport
Below are some quick facts about Maine's lobster industry, with a catch worth $730 million in 2021, an all-time record. In comparison, Nova Scotia's lobster exports for 2021 were $3.2 billion.
VIDEO: Aquaculture Concerns by Protect Maine's Fishing Heritage
Above: Professor Michael Donihue, Colby College, Author Lobsters to Dollars Report
"Maine’s iconic lobster industry is arguably the most visible, and perhaps the most economically important asset for the State." - Professor Michael Donihue
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