Lobster is the iconic symbol of the state of Maine, but new federal regulations threaten the future of this fishery. To boost the Maine Lobstermen’s Association’s (MLA) effort to preserve this way of life, the Boothbay Harbor community is teaming up to host a fundraiser on Sunday, Aug. 7. The event, a community lobster dinner, raffle, and auction, will be held at Brady’s, 25 Union Street, from 3-6 p.m. and proceeds will be donated to the MLA’s “Save Maine Lobstermen” campaign.
Tickets went on sale several weeks ago, and the event is sold out.
“Doing anything we can to help ensure there is a lobster fishery for the next generation is a no-brainer,” said event organizer and Brady’s owner, Jen Mitchell. “Boothbay Harbor’s working waterfront is the economic engine of this town, and the lobster industry is in the driver’s seat. Can you imagine what coastal communities like Boothbay would be like if we didn’t have a lobster industry?”
In addition to a twin lobster dinner with all the fixings, the event will feature comedy by famed Maine comedian Tim Sample, who is also a Boothbay native.
Boothbay lobsterman and MLA board member, Troy Plummer, led the effort to have local lobstermen donate all the lobster and clams that will be served, and several other supporters and businesses have donated raffle and auction prizes including: two prime third base line tickets to two Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees games and a two-night stay in a premium harbor view room at the posh Encore Casino Hotel; an overnight stay at the Oceanside Resort in Boothbay and two rounds of golf at the exclusive, private Boothbay Harbor Country Club; and original lobster tail art donated by Ogunquit artist, Amy Kelly, owner of TailSpinStudio.
“MLA is so grateful for the community support, for everything that Jen and her entire staff at Brady’s are doing to ensure this is an incredible fundraiser for our Save Maine Lobstermen campaign, and especially to Troy. Troy is our youngest board member and represents the next generation of Maine fishing families. His dedication to preserving this way of life is remarkable.”
Background: The federal government has laid out a plan that aims to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale by reducing the lobster industry’s already minimal risk posed to the whale by 98-percent by the year 2030. If the industry does not comply with this unachievable goal, the government will not license the industry. The MLA filed a lawsuit in September 2021 to try and force the government to go back to the drawing board and develop a new plan that would protect the whale without eliminating Maine’s lobster industry. MLA argues right whales are rarely seen in waters where Maine lobstermen fish. In fact, there has not been a single known right whale entanglement in Maine lobster gear in nearly 20 years and Maine lobster gear has never been linked to a right whale death. The federal government’s plan ignores important research about right whale migration patterns that reveals the right whales’ food source is moving further away from where Maine lobstermen fish.
In November 2021, MLA launched a three-year, $10 million fundraising campaign to be used to help protect Maine’s lobstering heritage.
Donations to the MLA’s “Save Maine Lobstermen” campaign can be made online at www.savemainelobstermen.org, via VENMO @SaveMaineLobstermen, or by mailing a check to the MLA, 2 Storer Street, Suite 203, Kennebunk, ME 04043.