Machias Savings Bank announced today that it will donate $250,000 to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association’s Save Maine Lobstermen campaign. The donation comes after a federal appeals court granted a motion to expedite the MLA’s appeal of a decision in its lawsuit against National Marine Fisheries Service. The MLA seeks to reverse what it calls a scientifically flawed federal whale plan that will cripple Maine’s lobster industry and negatively impact the economy of Maine and our coastal communities.

“This isn’t about choosing our hard-working lobstermen and women over whales. This isn’t about choosing the economy over conservation. This is about choosing common sense,” said Larry Barker, president and CEO of Machias Savings Bank. “The post-pandemic economic climate for the lobster industry has been extremely challenging and has only been exacerbated by the uncertainty of the new deep cutting federal whale regulations now underway. It has sent a chill through the Maine lobster fishery. We’re saying ‘Yes’ to Maine’s lobstermen and women by proudly making this donation in join the fight and support the Maine lobster industry.”

Barker made a public video announcement on MSB’s social channels this morning, which can be viewed here:

“The Maine lobster fishery is essential to Maine’s culture, heritage, and economy and has supported communities and generations of families while ensuring that this important natural resource is sustainably harvested for nearly two centuries,” said MLA President Kristan Porter, who is also a commercial fisherman from Cutler. “Maine’s lobster fleet directly supports more than 12,000 jobs on the water. In addition to the harvesters, the shoreside wholesale lobster sector, that is, the lobster supply chain, supports an additional 5,500 jobs and generates an additional $1 billion annually – which just begins to touch upon the real value of the fishery to the state. Lobster directly infuses myriad sectors of Maine’s economy from real estate to hotels, restaurants, trucking companies, auto dealerships, and banks to name a few.”

“The Maine lobster industry is in utter shock and disbelief that their own federal government has set a course to eliminate a fishery that has never been known to kill a single right whale,” said Patrice McCarron, MLA executive director. “Lobstermen are already mourning the loss of their industry. These are good people who care deeply about the ocean, lobsters, and right whales. They want to be part of the solution but, without action by the Court, this is not possible.”

The MLA is the oldest and largest fishing industry association on the east coast, established in 1954. In 2021, MLA launched its #SaveMaineLobstermen campaign with a four-pronged approach to preserve the industry and protect the endangered whales. The plan includes aggressive legal and policy strategies, ensuring decisions are based on sound science, innovating effective conservation strategies, and communication. More information on the campaign can be found at

With nearly $2.3 billion in assets, 300 employees, and 15 branches from Portland to Caribou, Machias Savings Bank seeks to Move Maine Forward through financial health, creating thriving communities by helping businesses and people prosper. Founded in 1869 and a leader in customer experience, employee engagement, and community impact, Machias works to expand its influence beyond products and services through community donations, its employee volunteer program, and by personalizing each customer relationship to help Maine businesses and individuals find their “YES!” More details about Machias Savings Bank can be found online at Member FDIC.