March 02, 2018
ROCKPORT, ME – During the Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) applauded the work of the men and women in Maine’s fishing industry and listened to the priorities and concerns of Maine fishermen from across the state.
“Maine has a proud fishing tradition, with generations of hard working men and women driving the economy up and down our coast,” Senator King said. “The Maine Fishermen’s Forum is a great way to harness the creative energies of our state’s fishing community to discuss the challenges it faces, the resources available to it, and the best practices for it to grow. It’s an honor to celebrate the work of so many good Maine people.”
At the forum, Senator King presented David Cousens – who is retiring as President of the Maine Lobstermen Association after 27 years – with a Congressional Record statement honoring his dedication to the lobstering community. He also met with representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and visited a host of trade show exhibits ranging from aquaculture, to lobstering, to harvesting.
Senator King has been outspoken in his support for Maine’s fishing industry, which helps thousands of Maine fishermen provide for their families and directly contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy each year. Following a January proposal from the Department of the Interior to open up federal Atlantic waters to offshore drilling and natural gas exploration and extraction, Senator King joined a bipartisan group of his New England colleagues to introduce legislation to bar offshore drilling along the region’s coast, as it could threaten the fishing industry and coastal environment in Maine. He is a strong supporter of the National Sea Grant Program, which provides resources for marine businesses and fishermen in coastal communities. He is a cosponsor of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act, legislation that seeks to mitigate the challenges facing new entrants into the fishing industry. Senator King has also worked to ensure that federal agencies like the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife respect the traditions and work of Maine harvesters working in intertidal zones.