WASHINGTON D.C. — “Judge Walker’s sound decision to block the seasonal closure of valuable Maine lobstering waters is a positive signal that the voices of Maine lobstermen are being heard. For the first time in this regulatory process, the concerns of lobstermen were weighed fairly and as a result we have a ruling grounded in common sense and the public good.

“The judge’s decision acts on arguments that lobstermen have been making for years now: there is simply not hard data to support the idea that Maine lobster gear is killing right whales. As they have argued, and as Judge Walker notes, implementing this closure would cause serious economic damage to lobstering communities without any demonstrated impact on saving right whales.

“I applaud the Maine Lobstering Union for filing and prevailing in this suit on behalf of their members. They are a great example of the power of unions to get results for working people. This struggle is not over in the courts nor in the federal government, and I look forward to working with lobstermen across the state to continue to fight for fair regulations based on accurate data and hard evidence.”