top of page
  • MLCA

The MLA: Working for Maine Lobstermen for 70 Years

Driven by low prices of lobsters and disastrous effects of hurricanes Carol and Edna, lobster fishermen of the Maine coast met in Rockland recently and formed what is known as the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. The group elected Leslie Dyer of Vinalhaven as president. Other officers are Farrell Lenfestey, vice president; Clarence Lunt, treasurer; Bert Nevils, secretary; and Alan Grossman, legal counsel.

Program for the MLA's first annual meeting in 1955. MLA image.

Delegates were elected from all coastal areas so that every lobster fishing settlement might be represented. Since that time delegates and officers have been diligently at work forming local chapters from Kittery to Eastport. The association now numbers about 1,500 men.

Since we have been organized many misconceptions have been formed by false rumors which have been circulated regarding the association and its purposes. Like any new organization the association has its enemies which are trying to destroy it before it can become a dominant force to give sorely need aid to the individual lobsterman. The group has been formed as an independent organization of Maine lobster fishermen for their mutual benefit as well as to promote a more friendly spirit of cooperation.

MLA president Les Dyer addresses members at the 1955 annual meeting. Penobscot Marine Museum photo.

Other purposes are: To encourage by proper and lawful means, sound and economical trade practices within the industry. And to strive for the elimination of such practices and methods that are unfair, uneconomic and contrary to sound business principles. Also to encourage the enactment of sound and uniform State and Federal legislation which will benefit the industry which today is beset upon by foreign imports and disastrously low prices at home which are virtually smothering the industry and driving lobster fishermen into other fields of endeavor.

For a long time, it has been the fervent hope of many lobstermen that one day they would have an organization that could speak for them so that their voices might be heard in regards to matters which vitally concern their existence.

The group of far-sighted lobster fishermen who have formed this association are working for the interests of the lobsterman and for that purpose only. With the high prices of lobster fishing equipment and gear combined with the low prices which he receives for his catch the very livelihood of the Maine coast lobster fisherman has been increasingly threatened. The only hope left to them was to form an organization to better themselves. The association which they have formed is proving to be a vital force within the industry and work already has begun on matters to be presented to the coming session of the Legislature.

Rodney Cushing

Cliff Island


bottom of page