UPDATE November 17, 2021: District Court decision stayed by First Circuit Court of Appeals.
On October 16, 2021, Maine Federal District Court Judge Lance E. Walker issued an Order on Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.
This Order is in response to a lawsuit brought by District 4 Lodge of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 207, et al., against Gina M Raimondo, in her Official Capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, et al., No. 1:21-cv-00275-LEW, (D. Me.).
This Order states that NOAA Fisheries “may not enforce closure of the disputed area pending further order of the Court.” The Court’s action prevents the LMA 1 Restricted Area established in the recent amendments to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan from taking effect while the lawsuit proceeds. Lobster and Jonah crab trap/pot fishermen may continue to fish with traditional surface markings in the LMA1 Restricted Area until further notice.
This ruling only affects the LMA 1 Restricted Area; all of the other measures contained in the September 17, 2021 Final Rule will go into effect as planned.