Follow the money

Dear Editor:

My 1997 open letter (republished July 15) was a warning shot to the lobster industry that if they tried to compromise their way to survival they would end up extinct. They are well on their way. Prices are way too high for the middle class and as soon as the new rules and ropeless traps come to fruition only the ultra-wealthy will be able to afford the very reduced catch, which will be ripe for hacking and theft by other countries. Individual lobstermen will be acquired by public corporations and foreign fishery behemoths. “Rugged individualism” will be gone.

Once again, Maine lobstermen have little responsibility for whale entanglements. There has been only one resulting in a successful getaway off Cape Elizabeth in 2008. At the same time the industry may be required to bear the total responsibility of Canadian Jonah crab gear entanglements as well as ship strikes from Cape Cod to Georgia and all points in between. Why? Follow the money, folks, and remember that NOAA has no jurisdiction in Canada. Since an unusual mortality event was declared in 2017, thirty-four dead and stranded whales have been reported. Of those, 21 were in Canada and 13 in the U.S. but none of the right whale deaths have been tied to Maine lobstermen [Ellsworth American, March 4, 2021].

I am really getting tired of defending industry stakeholders unless they rise up and sue every entity in sight to halt this needless destruction of Maine’s primary visible private industry. As far as the Northern spotted owl endangerment goes, just let the Western forests burn and maybe they will migrate east.

Dudley Gray

Rangeley Plantation

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