Maine’s biggest lobster port braces for ‘devastating’ offshore fishing closure

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STONINGTON, Maine — Days after a federal appeals court reinstated a seasonal closure of nearly 1,000 square miles of offshore lobstering grounds, fishermen in the state’s busiest lobster fishing port are in a holding pattern.

“Everybody’s idling right now,” Bill Damon, owner of Damon Family Lobster Co., said Friday. “They are trying to figure out what they have to do.”

Stonington has been Maine’s top lobstering port for years and last year hauled in more than $43 million worth of the lucrative catch. Damon and others in the industry sued the federal government earlier this year when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration decided to close a 967-square mile area to vertical fishing lines every year between October and January in order to protect endangered right whales in the area from getting tangled in fishing rope.

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