National Lobster Day is Here Again

 For generations, hardworking Maine people have hauled lobster from the waters off the coast of our state. And over the years, this proud industry and the men and women who work in it have become an enduring part of our culture and our economy.

 In order to recognize that impact, Senator Collins and I have once again led a successful effort in the U.S. Senate to have September 25th of this year designated as National Lobster Day. This recognition celebrates the longstanding role that the lobster industry plays as a cultural icon and economic driver – not only here in Maine, but across the country as well.

 There is no doubt that lobster sends a wave of economic activity through the Maine economy. Lobster fishing continues to be our state’s most valuable commercial fishery, helping our roughly 6,000 licensed lobstermen support their families and contribute to the local economy.

 The value of the fishery really cannot be overstated – it brought in more than half a billion dollars in 2015. And based on recent numbers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Maine lobster fishermen are bringing in more than 120 million pounds per year. That’s more than a few lobster dinners right there.

 And of course, we must also recognize the lobster industry’s role as a defining part of who we are as a state. Our lobstermen have come to embody the spirit of hard work and rugged independence that make Maine such a special place to live. And the tradition of lobstering is often passed on down the line from family member to family member, serving as a real anchor in our communities.

 Our lobster industry has seen record-breaking success over the last few years, and as Maine lobster continues to build its reputation as a delicacy around the world, the future is bright for the industry and the people and communities it supports. But to support the strength and sustainability of this cornerstone industry, we must continue to work together when challenges arise.

 For example, the European Union is currently considering a request by Sweden to ban the import of live lobsters from North America – saying they could be an invasive species. Well, in situations like this, I think it’s always best to stick to the science, and the science I’ve seen doesn’t support Sweden’s argument. That’s why I’m standing strong with Senator Collins, Representatives Pingree and Poliquin, and many other members of the New England Congressional delegation in opposition to this unfounded proposal.

 Whether it’s fighting to make sure the EU treats our industry fairly, or working to slow the effects of climate change on Maine’s fisheries, I am always looking for ways to support Maine lobster. And that is really what my work with Senator Collins to recognize National Lobster Day is all about.

 

 September is prime lobster season, so I hope everyone will join us in celebrating National Lobster Day and enjoy some lobster. It’s not just a meal, it’s a way of life.