A group representing Maine lobstermen has vowed to take its fight over fishing restrictions to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A lobster boat motors out of Portland Harbor at dawn on Thursday. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association said it will go all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to prevent more federal restrictions aimed at protecting endangered right whales.

The group’s executive director, Patrice McCarron, said rules approved last May weren’t based on good science, but the government has begun looking into more “draconian” measures for next year.

“The quote-unquote ‘straw man’ proposals that they’ve shown us have shown, if you were to close every federal fishery that interacts with right whales from Maine to Florida, you will not achieve a 90 percent risk reduction. So, the stakes are very high,” MaCarron said.

McCarron said the government is convening just one public hearing this month, when Maine lobstermen can propose solutions for reducing the risk to right whales.

McCarron is afraid if the courts don’t help, the government’s restrictions will drive some Maine lobstermen out of business.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.