Speaker Sara Gideon, Senate President Jackson, and a bipartisan group of members of the legislature issued a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries regarding Right Whales and the lobster industry in Maine.
Full letter available here, excerpt below:
“We write to express our deep concern over the impact of the recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the case Defenders of Wildlife v. Ross. As you know, the decision found that NOAA Fisheries violated the Endangered Species Act when it issued its 2014 Biological Opinion regarding the effect of the American lobster fishery on the North Atlantic right whale without an accompanying incidental take statement. Although the decision did not include an immediate injunction on lobster fishing, we anticipate irrevocable harm to the Maine lobster industry and the livelihoods of thousands of Mainers if this case progresses without decisive federal action.”