The Maine lobster industry serves as a model for sustainable fisheries around the world. The Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance (MLCA) serves as an educational and charitable organization serving both fishermen and the general public who feel a strong affinity for this historic fishery and its people.
The MLCA was formed in 2010 by lobster community stakeholders who pulled together with four goals:
Fight to preserve Maine's lobster industry.
Educate the public about Maine’s lobstering heritage.
Reinforce scientific research that furthers sustainability.
Support distressed fishing families and their community.
These programs have expanded over time to include conservation, leadership programs and continuing education, including a monthly newsletter.
“The MLCA’s mission is to foster thriving coastal communities and preserve Maine’s lobstering heritage. MLCA is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization which achieves its charitable mission through programs in education, research and charity.”
WHAT OUR PROGRAMS DO
Fosters thriving coastal communities and preserves Maine’s lobstering heritage & achieving our mission through educational, scientific, and charitable work that promotes an understanding of the sustainability of Maine’s lobster fishery.
mAINE lOBSTERMEN lEADERSHIP institute
The Maine Lobstermen Leadership Institute (MLLI) fosters new civic leaders to preserve the economic viability of historic coastal communities and promote stewardship of the resource.
“We take them off their boats and out of their harbors and bring them together for an opportunity to see the whole of Maine’s lobster fishery and how it fits in nationally and internationally” says Andi Pelletier, from the MLCA Office of Programs & Development. The curriculum includes lobster fishery management, lobster fishery science and the marine ecosystem, a detailed assessment of lobster markets, experiential learning opportunities and cultural exchange with other fishing communities. The program focuses primarily on developing leadership amongst younger lobstermen, which includes learning from more experienced civic leaders in Maine. Current industry leaders participate in the program to foster peer-to-peer exchange and to mentor developing leaders. The MLCA was awarded funding to continue the MLLI through the Research, Education, and Development (RED) Board in May 2016.
Other activities were experiential and include attendance at the Fishermen’s Forum, Seafood Expo North America, and the International Lobster Symposium, testifying at the Legislature and Zone Council meetings, and a trip to PEI to fish with lobstermen across the border.
Those who complete the program can and do take a broader interest in their fishery. Whether attending local Zone Council meetings, regional meetings on whales or speaking at the legislature, participants share their passion and new-found knowledge. Many of the 2017 participants became advocates for the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative traveling across the US to speak at special events geared towards chefs and the food industry. “Maine After Midnight” was a whirlwind tour for these lobstermen as they spoke on television, radio and to celebrity chefs about the virtues and great flavor of new shell lobster.
The MLCA supports a relief fund to benefit the distressed families and children of commercial lobstermen. The Relief Fund accepts public contributions which are deposited into MLCA’s savings account. These funds are used to support Harvester families throughout Maine in times of need.
Requests for assistance are handled on a case by case basis. For more information, please contact the MLCA office directly at 207-967-6221.
Citizen Maine is a Damariscotta-based clothing company whose mission is to influence social and environmental change by donating 10% of proceeds to organizations that share their values. The MLCA is honored to be a part of that mission. 10% of proceeds from their Lobster Collection will be donated to The Lobstermen’s Relief Fund in Maine. Feel free to shop today!
MEET OUR BOARD
Dr. William J. Brennan
Jim Dow, Vice-Chairman
Treasurer and Secretary
Director of Advancement