American Fishermen Under Attack

Maine Lobsterman

( – A group of American fishermen from Maine has resorted to having a high-profile former George W. Bush administration official as their attorney to dispute new laws for protecting whales.

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association has hired Paul Clement to represent them in the lawsuit that is hurting lobster fishing.

Clement served as the US Solicitor General, the fourth highest-ranking job in the US Justice Department, during the second administration of former President George W. Bush from 2004-2008.

“You have administrative overreach. The implications are easy to understand,” Clement said on Tuesday.

He added that the new laws are pushing the US lobster industry “to the brink of collapse.”

“It directly threatens really one of the most iconic American industries. Everyone who has ever enjoyed a lobster can appreciate this,” the lawyer declared, as cited by The Associated Press and Newsmax.

The fishermen’s lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service was launched at the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit after, in September, a federal judge ruled against them.

The lawsuit seeks to end restrictions on fishing which are supposed to protect the population of the North Atlantic right whale. The species in question tends to get caught in the nets of the lobstermen.

Fewer than 340 North Atlantic right whales are alive today, with environmental groups pushing for years for the endangered species protection.

The US lobster industry, mainly based in Maine and other parts of New England, New York, and New Jersey, generated $900 million last year.

In a statement last month, Maine’s Democrat Governor Janet Mills blasted the federal judge’s ruling against the lobstermen’s lawsuit.

“This decision is extremely disappointing, to say the least,” Gov. Mills declared back then.

“The National Marine Fisheries Service has consistently interpreted the data in the most conservative way possible, without accounting for the impact of ship strikes on whales and whale entanglements in Canadian snow crab gear, putting all of the burden for right whale protection squarely on the shoulders of Maine’s lobster fishery,” she argued.

“Maine lobstermen care about the endangered right whale and have undertaken substantial actions to protect them at great personal expense, but the federal government’s regulations are simply not based in sound science or proven fact,” Mills elaborated.

“This federal court decision, so out of touch with reality, adds insult to an industry that supports the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Maine families. We will continue to stand with the Maine lobstermen and confer with the Maine Lobsterman’s Association concerning the next steps,” Maine’s governor stated.