Augusta – After providing public comment at the August 14 scoping meeting in Waldoboro, Speaker Sara Gideon submitted a formal letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service urging more significant data gathering before final enactment of the Take Reduction Plan for Atlantic Large Whales. Gideon’s letter also outlines her concerns on the negative impact the regulations would have on Maine’s lobster industry and the industry’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship. 

Excerpts from the letter:

“NOAA’s proposed Take Reduction Plan for Atlantic Large Whales would be unduly burdensome, costly and potentially dangerous to Maine’s lobstermen, and is unsupported by the data and scientific evidence currently available.”

“Without a more definitive linkage between Maine’s lobstering practices and Right Whale deaths, the very real costs of these proposed regulations outweigh the potential benefits.”

“Maine lobstermen are committed to being good stewards of the waters that provide their livelihoods. They are willing to make sacrifices to ensure the safety of the species with whom they share the Gulf of Maine. However, we owe it to these men and women to ensure that whenever we ask them to take measures that will result in reduced earnings and increased risk, we know for certain that that the problem is real and the solution is necessary.”

For full text of Speaker Gideon’s letter to Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, click here.