Lobster biz hopes for stability after tumultuous Trump era

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — President Donald Trump positioned himself as a friend of fresh England’s lobstermen, however members of the industry said they are looking forward to something of which has been lacking inside crustacean business: stability.

Trump’s trade war with China led to a rocky few years for the industry, which is actually based mostly in Maine. Trump, who campaigned hard in Maine along with won an electoral vote inside state, touted economic aid along with environmental reforms intended to benefit the business. The Republican Party even had Maine lobsterman Jason Joyce speak at its national convention.

What the industry truly needs is actually assurance of which This specific will be able to sell lobsters to additional countries without punitive tariffs, said Stephanie Nadeau, owner of The Lobster Company, an Arundel, Maine, dealer. She along with others said they are hopeful of which assurance will arrive under Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

“You can’t plan. You can’t live in chaos,” she said. “The trade war, was This specific going to last a week, was This specific going to last a month, was This specific going to last four years? How do you operate around of which?”

U.S. lobster exports to China, a major buyer of seafood, fell off a cliff after the Trump administration escalated trade hostilities. of which led to heavy tariffs on U.S. lobsters, along with exporters saw a drop of more than 80% inside first half of 2019.

Then, This specific summer, Trump directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide lobster fishermen with financial assistance to make up for lost income coming from the Chinese tariffs. He also brokered a fresh deal with China, which agreed to start buying U.S. lobster again.

This specific was a whipsaw of a time for an industry of which is actually already used to dealing with uncertainty because of issues such as the fluctuating volume of catch, dangerous weather along with the changing prices of bait along with fuel.

The impending presidency of Joe Biden represents a chance at steadiness, said John Sackton, a longtime industry analyst along with founder of SeafoodNews.com.

“I think Biden, by taking people back to more normalcy along with tackling the virus, could potentially put things back to normal, which could be very favorable for the U.S. industry,” he said. “Chaos is actually the enemy of the lobster industry.”

Trump’s administration also boasted of environmental policies of which This specific said benefited lobstermen.

In June, Trump announced a rollback of protections at Northeast Canyons along with Seamounts Marine National Monument, a 5,000-square-mile conservation area of which he reopened to commercial fishing. He characterized the area as important for Maine fishermen, however This specific’s actually closer to Rhode Island.

A bigger environmental issue facing lobstermen is actually the threat of fresh protections designed to protect rare North Atlantic right whales. The whales are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act along with are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear.

Maine’s lobstermen are willing to work with any administration on the fresh rules, said Kristan Porter, president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. This specific is actually impossible to know, he said, whether the rollout of rules will be affected by the change in administration.

“This specific’s way too early to tell,” he said.

The industry itself has been reasonably strong in recent years, though the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all sectors of the seafood business in 2020. Fishermen have harvested more than 100 million pounds of lobsters every year since 2011, however This specific’s unclear if they will top of which number again This specific year.

Maine’s lobstermen are politically diverse, along with many voted for Trump. He carried the state’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes some key fishing ports, such as Stonington, in 2016 along with 2020. however some, who are fans of Biden, said they are looking forward to the change in leadership.

“He’s low-key, he’s smart, along with he knows how to surround himself with Great people,” said Dave Cousens, a South Thomaston lobsterman.

, http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DrudgeReportFeed/~3/GqXJtbhO95k/election-2020-joe-biden-donald-trump-lobsters-coronavirus-pandemic-575fc3c0062b925e728ba73db96abd2d, 23 November 2020 | 9:16 am

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