Here’s the New Regulation That’s Devastating Lobstermen in Maine

Lobstermen in Maine are reportedly leaving the workforce en masse due to onerous regulations enacted by the state at the start of 2024. 

The regulation implemented by the Atlantic States Commission went into effect on January 1, which mandated obstermen to let the agency know when, where and how they catch lobsters via the submission of monthly reports, per a  report by WGME. Instead of complying with the agency’s stiff regulations, many fishers are reportedly giving up on lobster trapping altogether. 

Bill Coopersmith, a veteran lobsterman, said to WGME that he retired from the industry the very day the new regulation went into effect.

“Forty-three years of doing it, I took the last of my gear out of the water on New Year’s Day. And I said, ‘That’s probably it,’” Coppersmith stated. “It’s come to be too restrictive to go. It creates more work. And I can’t create any more revenue because of the restrictions they’re putting on here.”

Lobstermen in Maine are mandated to fish with a tracking device attached to their boats. Five lobstermen filed a lawsuit against the Department of Maine Resources over the location-tracking mandates, contending that the regulation infringes on their constitutional right to privacy, equal protection and due process, per NHPR.

“They’re an important part of their lives, and they use these vessels for purposes other than commercial lobstering, including other commercial ventures, personal use, family use and recreational use,” attorney Thimi Mina stated with respect to the plaintiffs’ boats that were used for lobstering.

The lobster industry in Maine accounts for over $1 billion in economic activity for the state, per Maine Lobster. Nevertheless, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is expected to mandate additional regulations in 2025, which includes a rule that would mandate lobstermen to release  one-pound catches back into the water. 

“They think there may be a population problem with lobsters. That’s not true at all,” Coppersmith said. “You got to realize, okay, we caught less lobsters last year. Less poundage. More work to go catch them. Increase in the price of bait. It costs so much to go.”

Such petty regulations of this nature are designed by elites to destroy the middle and working classes. The goal here is for big companies to swoop in and consolidate certain economic sectors, much to the detriment of consumers and potential small-time entrepreneurs in these sectors. 

If the political class was serious about economic prosperity, it would pursue deregulation at all costs.

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