Maine Lobstermen's Association

Stephan Savoia / AP File

Federal fisheries regulators are taking heat from both sides of the debate over protections for the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine - An arm of the federal government says it's disappointed that a lobster fishing group is pulling its support of a proposal to help endangered whales, but will continue to work with the fishermen.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine lobstermen will meet with state marine resources officials in Trenton Tuesday evening to consider coming regulations that could force the industry to reduce by half the amount of fixed-gear trap rope placed in the ocean.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

At Maine’s annual Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport Friday, a historic $600 million harvest season coincided with a slight increase in lobster landings and lingering concerns over potential changes to gear rules around protecting endangered right whales. But looming over the forum are major cutbacks in the quota of crucial herring bait fish — which could ripple across the industry.

ROCKPORT, Maine — The largest fishermen's trade show in New England will take place this week as the industry grapples with issues such as warming oceans and uncertainty in the worldwide lobster market.

Pat Wellenbach / AP Photo

Maine lobstermen are facing a major challenge as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this month reduced the amount of Atlantic Herring fishermen can haul by more than half.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

A health insurance navigator program in Maine may come to an end, after the Trump administration's recent announcement to cut funding for 2019 enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's marketplace.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Maine Lobstermen's Association President Dave Cousens has watched the industry grow over nearly 30 years. "You know, it's like rolling Lucky Sevens going into a casino," he says. "I mean, we've been doing everything good, and everything's happened right with the environment for the last 20 years. Things are now probably going to go the other way." Cousens announced his retirement earlier this month and will hand off the baton at this weekend's Fisherman's Forum, in Rockport.  Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz caught up with Cousens to discuss his years at the helm of one of Maine's most prominent industries.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Lawmakers in Maine are close to passing a bill that would add stricter penalties for lobstermen who break fishing laws.
 
The Kennebec Journal reports that the Act to Improve the Enforcement of Maine's Lobster Laws was approved by the House Thursday. It passed the Senate Wednesday.
 
The proposed bill, which is supported by the Maine Lobstermen's Association, is aimed at cracking down on illegal activity and making fishing fairer.
 

The state's largest lobster industry group is asking a federal judge to lift a decades-old consent decree, prohibiting it from discussing the issues that affect lobster supply.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The Maine Lobstermen's Association wants the U.S. Justice Department to lift a 56-year-old restriction that limits the trade group's ability to discuss management of the fishery.

A consent decree was put in place after a price-fixing judgment against the organization and its leader. It bans the group from discussions any issues that affect the supply of lobster.