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  • MLCA

Documenting a Heritage Worth Fighting For

The Bridges Family, Corea. All photos courtesy of Cheryl Clegg

Cheryl Clegg is a professional photographer based in Waltham, Massachusetts, who lives in Gouldsboro each year. As she learned more about the regulatory storm related to right whales that lobstermen were facing and the decision by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to red list lobster as a species consumers should “avoid,” she decided to put her camera to work. “My new series titled “The Endangered Lobstermen” is an effort to put faces to those that are impacted by the regulations to the lobstering community and the “red list.”

As a long time Maine visitor to Gouldsboro I support the lobstering community and all of the precautions they have taken to protect the waters and the natural habitat of all of the life that exists in the ocean,” she wrote on her web site (

The Beal Family, Milbridge

Clegg’s portraits of Downeast lobstering families reveal what many don’t recognize: lobstering is a family business. There are more than 5,000 women and men in Maine who hold commercial lobstering licenses and every one of them is a small businessman. Their skills and knowledge were often passed down to them from their parents or grandparents, skills they hope to pass on to the next generation.

“No man is an island entire to itself,” wrote the poet John Donne, and the truth of those words is evident in these photos.

The Maine Lobstermen's Association (MLA) Save Maine Lobstermen campaign is working to ensure that the Maine lobster fishery remains sound and productive for families like these and the next generation of lobstermen. Visit for more information and to donate.


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