Tag Archives: Maine Lobstering Union

Ex-Head of Maine Union Co-op Named in Racketeering Suit

The annual Maine lobster catch might not be in trouble, but certain people who sell it are. On December 5, Lobster 207, a wholesale marketing cooperative owned by the Maine Lobstering Union, an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, filed a civil racketeering complaint in Bangor federal court against its former head, Warren Pettegrow, his company Poseidon Charters Inc., and three other persons. The suit alleges the defendants engaged in a two-year scheme to loot the co-op. >click to read< 11:20

Maine lobstermen tell federal regulators: We’re not killing the whales

The Maine Lobstering Union accuses the agency of caving to environmental organizations when it should be defending the industry. Kristan Porter, a Cutler lobsterman who heads up the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said the modeling tool the agency had come up with to determine risk had been sharply criticized by a team of independent scientists during a peer review conducted late last year. Stonington lobsterman Julie Eaton urged regulators to stop playing dangerous games with fishermen’s lives and livelihoods. We don’t want to see any animal go extinct, but blaming us for the right whale’s decline is like blaming Mexico for the plight of the polar bear, she said.  >click to read< 09:47

The Maine Lobstering Union says the CEO of Lobster 207 and his parents embarked ‘on a systematic scheme’ to enrich themselves.

A federal lawsuit is alleging that the former owners of a Trenton lobster wholesaler violated an agreement to leave the business and instead stole $1.94 million from the new owners. The suit, filed in Bangor federal district court, said that the Maine Lobstering Union bought a wholesaling business in Trenton from Anthony and Josette Pettegrow in early 2017. >click to read< 09:14

Lobstermen’s union says former CEO and his parents embezzled funds, committed fraud>click to read< 11:06

Second Maine lobstering group rejects state’s plan for protecting whales

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association staked out its position on the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ proposal with a board vote Thursday night. Director Patrice McCarron would not disclose the vote breakdown, calling that a private matter. The group did, however, release a statement about why it couldn’t support the plan. “It seeks reductions that exceed the documented risk posed by the Maine lobster fishery,” >click to read< 06:16

Lobster industry split over whale protection plan called Maine’s ‘line in the sand’

Some fishermen at the South Portland meeting cheered the plan. One gave Keliher a standing ovation, saying the new proposal was much better for the lobster fleet than the task force plan rolled out in August that called for 50 percent fewer buoy lines. But fishermen in Ellsworth and Waldoboro, the site of the first two meetings this week, urged Keliher to resist federal pressure to make concessions that would hurt lobster fishermen when they pose no real threat to the whale.,, “Grow a backbone,” one lobstermen told Keliher. “Don’t give them anything now.” >click to read<  07:47

Aquaculture poses threat to the lobster industry

As president of the Maine Lobstering Union, I know we have struggled with several concerns this summer from right whales to bait shortages to aquaculture leases. We need to take steps now to fix rules and regulations around aquaculture. If we don’t, it will encroach on ocean space for everyone. The lease sizes have gotten so large we are making Maine’s oceans attractive to out-of-state corporations. By Rock Alley >click to read< 11:40

Maine lobstermen tap into union network for retail sales

A few months after buying a lobster pound and processing plant, Maine’s lobstering union is now tapping its connection to unions across the country to rack up online retail sales and reap greater financial returns for its members. The union is now shipping live Maine lobster caught by its 400 members anywhere in the country. The path these lobsters will take on their way from the ocean floor to your door is completely unionized, from the Vinalhaven lobsterman who traps it to the Rockland truck driver who picks it up from a transfer boat to the Lamoine plant worker who packs it to the UPS teamster who delivers it. Anyone can buy them, of course, but the Maine Lobstering Union is definitely looking to make the most of a nationwide union network. click here to read the story 14:31

Maine Lobstering Union Pursuing Higher Profits

Maine lobstermen have long been known as a fiercely independent lot. But some are looking to the power of unity, in the form of a statewide, catch-to-table co-op. The goal is to harvest a larger and more predictable share of the profits. It’s 10 a.m. and Rock Alley has already been cruising Washington County’s Sequin’s Passage off Beals Island since a little after daybreak. The 60-year-old Jonesport fishermen tells his two stern men to get ready as he maneuvers his 46-foot, Jarvis Newman lobster boat through some shallow waters to get to his traps.,, Lobsters from the MLU are transported by union truck drivers to the Lamoine holding pound, where union employees sort, crate and eventually load them onto even larger trucks, also driven by union workers. click here to read the story 12:39

Bill to move Monhegan wind power project draws crowd to legislative hearing  

Lawmakers heard passionate, conflicting testimony Tuesday from dozens of people on a bill aimed at moving a nationally significant wind energy test site farther from Monhegan Island. Supporters said views of two massive floating turbines would jeopardize tourism, lobster fishing, migrating birds and the sense of serenity associated with Monhegan’s wild beauty. Some said island residents were being bullied and divided by the University of Maine and the partners of Maine Aqua Ventus, a project that is testing new technology for offshore wind turbines about 3 miles from the island. The project initially promised a small, brief test, but has now expanded it beyond anyone’s expectations. Opponents of the bill, which would move the test site at least 7 miles farther out to sea, said it is unneeded and unwelcome, adding that it would short-circuit the process by which islanders are evaluating the project’s potential benefits. Both sides said much is at stake. But representatives of the Maine Lobstering Union, which represents 500 fishermen, said wind power has no place on the Maine coast. Other lobstermen, though, spoke in favor of the turbines. Mary Weber, whose husband, Matt, fishes around the island, said they didn’t think the turbines would deter tourists, and might even draw a new set of visitors interested in clean energy. click here to read the story 15:30

Maine lobstermen figured out how to make more money off their catches

A lobstermen-only fishing organization has purchased a local lobster wholesale business, extending the reach of its members further down the distribution chain and giving them a greater share of the profit off their catch. The Maine Lobstering Union, formed in 2013 in the wake of a sharp drop in prices paid to lobstermen by dealers, is buying Seal Point Lobster Co., a wholesale lobster distribution firm owned by the Pettegrow family. The Pettegrows also own the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound restaurant, which is not part of the sale.,, “It’s about putting lobstermen in a better position in the value stream on the shore side of the industry that they’ve never had access to,” Pitcher said recently. Read the story here 08:35

Maine lobstermen’s union votes to buy Hancock County lobster business

The Maine Lobstering Union voted Saturday to buy a wholesale lobster business near Mount Desert Island to help its fishermen net a bigger share of the profit in the booming, $1.5 billion-a-year industry. At a closed-door meeting in Rockport, members voted 63-1 to buy the wholesale side of the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, which includes a tank that can hold up to 180,000 pounds of lobster, for $4 million, said Local 207 President Rocky Alley. “We can’t wait to start buying and selling our own lobsters,” Alley said. “Right now, fishermen sell at the dock, and we get what we get, with no control. But there is lots of money made off lobsters after they leave the dock, and some ought to stay with us fishermen.” The vote enables the Maine union to borrow money from a Kansas City bank and to borrow $1.1 million from fellow locals in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as far south as Maryland to purchase the Lamoine-based wholesale business. continue reading the story here 21:36

Maine lobstermen oppose increase in cost of commercial fishing licenses

A proposal to increase the cost of commercial fishing licenses to fund scientific research in a lean budget year is drawing fire from Maine lobstermen. Julie Eaton, a 30-year lobster boat captain from Deer Isle, told a legislative panel at the State House on Friday that a 30 percent increase in lobster license fees would be too much on top of all the other costs of doing business, ranging from $125 to replace lost traps to $185 for monthly oil changes to bait bills that have doubled in the last year alone. The Maine Department of Marine Resources is seeking to increase lobster license fees about 30 percent, which would generate roughly $600,000 in new revenues. That money would be used to expand state lobster research and protect other department units, like the Maine Marine Patrol, despite budget cuts ordered by Gov. Paul LePage to offset the anticipated effect of a new minimum wage law and state school spending initiative. Continue reading the article here 09:24

Whale Protection Rules: Maine Lobstermen Divided Over Whether to Sue – Wait’ll the Cod Protection Rules Kick In!

Maine lobstermen are considering taking the federal government to court over regulations designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. The Maine Lobstering Union has filed a notice of intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service over new and existing rules requiring the modification of lobster gear. Read the rest here 18:58

Maine Voices: Dredging of Searsport Harbor would be economic folly – Rocky Allen, Maine Lobstering Union

Sen. Susan Collins has observed: “In parts of Maine, the environment is our economy.” No place epitomizes that principle more than Penobscot Bay. The members of the Maine Lobstering Union unanimously oppose the Searsport dredging project, as proposed, because it simply makes no economic sense for Maine. Read the rest here 11:53

Dredge opponents fear Penobscot River pollution

For the opponents of the Searsport dredge project, mercury contamination is the big worry. Those concerns deepened in February when the Maine Department of Marine Resources closed seven square miles to lobster and crab fishing after unsafe levels of  Read more here 08:25