HomePoliticsLobster dispute boils over in Maine

Lobster dispute boils over in Maine

The thorny dispute boiled over this week when one of Golden’s opponents, former Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin, lashed out at the incumbent in a recent debate over his refusal to return the donation.

“During the debate… Jared Golden refused to return a donation from Julie Packard, the billionaire heiress who heads anti-lobster group Seafood Watch,” a Poliquin spokesman said in a campaign statement. “If Jared Golden doesn’t return the Seafood Watch donation, that tells Maine lobstermen everything they need to know about him.”

When asked about the donation, Golden said Poliquin is “pretty desperate if he’s going through the FEC reports for things like this and finds a $600 check that we didn’t even know about.”

He also defended the donation, insisting it would go to defend the Maine lobster fishery.

“I’m not going to pay the money back, this woman’s organization is part of this network of nonprofits that are funding these lawsuits against our lobstermen,” Golden told POLITICO. “I will take every penny you give me and give it to our Maine lobster legal defense fund.”

The lawsuits Golden is talking about are those brought by various environmental groups under the Endangered Species Act.

The US District Court for DC recently ruled against Maine lobstermen and the National Marine Fisheries Services in a case brought by the Center for Biological Diversity. A judge found that lobster fishing regulations did not adequately protect right whales.

Seafood Watch and the Monterey Bay Aquarium say this case is at the heart of their evidence that lobster should be avoided.

Seafood Watch states that lobster catching gear, traps known as pots, that are thrown into the ocean on a rope risk entanglement of whales, which can be fatal. But the Maine delegation vehemently refutes that, pointing to the fact that there has only been one non-fatal entanglement attributed to the Maine lobster since 2004.

“There are 340 North Atlantic right whales left. Seafood Watch reviewed all available information, which has also been upheld in federal court as the best available science,” a Seafood Watch spokesperson said. “The facts make it clear that management has not gone far enough to protect the North Atlantic right whale and a The US district court judge ruled in July 2022 that all pot/trap and gillnet fisheries in this region with vertical lines in the water violate the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”

Senator king angus (I-Maine) said that Seafood Watch’s science is flawed and that the listing is a “manifest effort to put thousands of people out of work”, that it “has no evidence on which to impose any sanctions, and much least one as drastic as this.” .”

King suggested that his staff is looking at ways to cut off federal funding for the aquarium and Seafood Watch on listing. He also said that he is gathering evidence to propose to Seafood Watch in the hope that they will rescind the list.

“How can I represent the people of Maine and tell them they should pay their taxes to support an organization that has irresponsibly and egregiously attacked 5,000 or more good people in my state? I can not do this. King said in an interview. “So we’re checking to see if the aquarium or Seafood Watch gets any federal money in the form of research or anything like that, and I’m going to do everything I can to cut it off.”

Burgess Everett contributed to this report.

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