Federal government get’s smacked down for “egregious” misuse of power against lobster industry.
Maine House Republicans are pleased to report that the Maine Lobster Industry has won a huge victory in Federal Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit’s ruling vacates NOAA’s biology-based opinion. This is the opinion off which the agency was imposing a ten-year plan to reduce risk from lobster entanglement by 98% -a completely unreasonable and unrealistic regulation.
Writing for the three-judge panel, senior Judge Douglas Ginsburg wrote: ”The Service’s legal reasoning was not just wrong; it was egregiously wrong.”
The Court’s ruling is not just a welcome relief for Maine’s lobster industry, but a huge win for the rule of law in the United States of America. The court’s decision handed overreaching bureaucrats, and environmental-extremism a humiliating defeat.
“The Court’s decision confirms what those of us who fish these waters have always known”, said House Republican Leader Billy Bob Faulkingham, “that these rules were not based in science or logic. This decision is a huge victory against the unfair regulations, but it will take time to rebuild our image and market from the damage done by cancel culture and the smear campaign of so-called “sustainability lists” like Seafood Watch of Monterey Bay Aquarium.”
Representative Faulkingham successfully passed legislation in the 130th legislature to create a “Legal Defense Fund for the Maine Lobster Industry,” that partially supported the lawsuit. The revenue for the fund comes from a portion of surcharges that lobstermen pay themselves on their license fees. The lead Plaintiffs in the case are the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, and an intervenor are the Maine Lobstermen’s Union Local 207. These are the two organizations able to access the fund.
“I’ve spent 25 years on the stern of lobster boats and never laid eyes on a right whale once”, said newly elected representative Abden Simmons, “but that didn’t stop NOAA from implementing rules that would have destroyed my communities and the coast of Maine. This should be a warning to all Mainers, and Americans how far the influence of extremism can reach into our federal regulatory system.”
“We all knew the science NMFS was using was junk,” said lobsterman and Representative, Wayne Parry of Arundel, “In my almost 30 years lobstering, I’ve never even seen a Right Whale. We’ve done everything the feds have asked and have not had an entanglement in Maine in almost 20 years, but that wasn’t enough.”
The Maine lobster industry’s fight against extremists has received support from citizens from all corners of the state. We particularly thank U.S. Senator Susan Collins for her efforts regarding the six year regulatory pause that is still in effect. Winning this battle will require continued vigilance going forward.