For Immediate Release
Posted: October 27, 2022

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NH To File Amicus Brief in Support of Lobster and Fishing Industry in the Northeast

Concord, NH – Today, the State of New Hampshire filed a notice of intent to file an Amicus Curiae Brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in support of the northeast lobster and fishing industry in Maine Lobstermen's Association v. National Marine Fisheries Services, No. 22-5238.

In September 2022, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS), upholding their Biological Opinion and the subsequent regulatory decisions based on it, which would impose significant new restrictions and regulations on New England's lobster industry.

"This ruling, if upheld, would devastate New England's lobster industry with restrictive regulations brought on by the federal government," said Governor Chris Sununu. "This is a bipartisan issue New Hampshire and Maine are aligned on, and we as state officials have an obligation to stand up and provide the leadership necessary to fight Washington and to preserve the lobster and fishing industry in our states."

Background on this case can be read here.

The lobster industry in the Northeast has already made significant changes to their operations such as using weaker rope and affixing more traps on a single line in the water. The Biological Opinion does not account for those conservation measures already taken to reduce the likelihood of a right whale entanglement. The potential changes to come from this Biological Opinion threaten further harm to these industries both locally and regionally.

New Hampshire has hundreds of commercial and recreational trappers, some of which hold a permit to fish in federal waters. New Hampshire is home to the best lobster in the country and the state will do everything we can to preserve one of New Hampshire's traditional and most important fishery.