Governor Paul LePage issued the following statement today regarding the continuing demands from Canadian fishermen that lobster processing plants in Canada not accept Maine lobster:
"In an effort to stress the importance of the need for Maine fishermen to be allowed to deliver product to processing plants in Canada, today I spoke with New Brunswick Premier David Alward. I conveyed my concerns about the effects this could have on Maine's fishing industry which provides a mutual benefit for both countries. Maine fishermen have my complete support and should know that my administration is working with Canadian officials, fishermen, and processors to reach a successful conclusion.
Additionally, I have reached out to U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to brief them on this matter. We will continue discussions in the coming days.
Canada has an advantage due to the fact it has two dozen lobster processors, while Maine only has three. It points to a much broader issue involving capacity of our own plants. That's why my administration has been exploring ways to implement smart policies that drive energy costs down and provide incentives to build more processing plants in the State. The lobster industry is a critical component of our Maine heritage and economy, it deserves our attention."
Note: If you are a member of the media and would like additional comment from Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher please contact Deirdre Gilbert at 624-6576.