May 16, 2020
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Activist asks federal court to halt Maine lobster fishing

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
A crew of lobstermen head out to fish as the reflection of a sunlit building colors the waters of Portland Harbor, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Portland, Maine.

An activist who has won past decisions to protect the North Atlantic right whales filed a motion in Bangor federal court seeking a preliminary injunction to halt lobster fishing in Maine, Maine Public Radio reports.

Richard Strahan’s case is similar to one he brought in Massachusetts, where a federal judge ruled recently that the lobster fishery there violates the Endangered Species Act. Strahan said state governments and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have deliberately ignored the law.

“That’s the evil behind the curtain. That NOAA and these states have agreed that nobody’s going to enforce the Endangered Species Act, not only against individual fishermen, but these state agencies either,” Strahan said.

Filings are also due by midnight Friday in response to a federal judge’s finding in a separate case that federal regulators are illegally allowing harm to the whales. Conservation groups that brought that suit are expected to propose remedies, which might include closing parts of the lobster fishery.

State and industry officials had no immediate comment, Maine Public reports.

 


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