Policy, Advocacy & Education


The MLA currently works on a variety of issues, including lobster management with various agencies both at the state and local levels. We address topics ranging from state fishing rules to herring and menhaden quotas, deep sea coral management, and dredging, as well as management that directly affects the Maine lobster fishery.

  • Maine Department of Marine Resources
  • Maine Legislature
  • Atlantic States Marine Fishery Council
  • New England Marine Fishery Council
  • NOAA Fisheries Take Reduction Team
  • Maine Marine Resources Committee

Our Previous Work

  • 1960s: MLA persuaded politicians that lobster traps are the only gear that should catch lobsters and draggers were kept out.
  • 1970s: MLA convinced Congress to pass a law saving Maine lobstermen thousands of dollars each year by not paying payroll taxes on sternmen.
  • 1980s: MLA fought to keep draggers out of the fishery, again, and convinced managers to accept Maine’s core conservation practices of v-notching, maximum 5”, and minimum 3 ¼” gauges.
  • 1990s: MLA fought to prevent unlimited dragging of lobsters in offshore waters outside of Maine through the 100 per day, 500 per trip limits.
  • 2000s: MLA fought for a stable bait supply by protecting the inshore herring fishery and developing new research to measure the size of the herring stock.
  • 2010s: MLA pushed for an area based approach to Whale rules keeping 70% of Maine waters exempt from the Federal Whale rules. MLA continued to fight to keep draggers out of lobster and for smart management of herring and menhaden.



The Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) has produced a newsletter monthly since 1990 for its members. In 2009, the MLA expanded the newsletter content and mailed it to all commercial lobstermen in Maine. In 2013, the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance (MLCA), the sister, non-profit organization of the MLA, launched Landings, the successor publication to the MLA Newsletter. The MLA now publishes its news and select business listing on dedicated MLA pages within Landings.