About 850 lobstermen, representing 10 percent of those licensed in Maine, will have to turn in logbook reports of how many times they went out on the water, how many traps they set or hauled each time, and how many lobsters they caught.
The purpose of the reports is to give Department of Marine Resources officials and scientists a better idea of how many traps are being used and how long they are in the water. more
The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and the Midcoast Fishermen’s Association have brought a lawsuit to have federal regulatory agencies to enforce laws meant to protect populations of cod, haddock and other groundfish from industrial herring boats.
“Small fishermen in New England have made sacrifices to preserve a livelihood for future generations. But the current rules are undermining our hard work,” said Glen Libby, a commercial fisherman and chairman of the Midcoast Fishermen’s Association. “When the rules are applied unevenly, everybody suffers.”
Mid-water trawlers drag massive small-mesh nets behind them, sometimes working in pairs towing an even bigger net between them. Stretching to 165 feet, these vessels can hold more than one million pounds of catch.
Midwater trawlers were initially banned from groundfish-closed areas in 1994. But in 1998 federal regulators decided to re-open these areas to trawlers, based on an assumption that the herring ships would catch little or no groundfish in their nets.
The policy has proved disastrous. While shortcomings in the federal monitoring program make precise numbers difficult to obtain, it is estimated that in recent years midwater trawl vessels have caught hundreds of thousands of pounds of mature and juvenile groundfish as bycatch. In a well-publicized 2004 enforcement sweep, personnel from the Maine Marine Patrol and Massachusetts Environmental Police caught midwater herring trawlers illegally trying to land thousands of pounds of juvenile haddock and hake mixed with their herring catch.
This article describes right-of-way easements in Maine. Right-of-way easements are a common type of easement in the state, and this article is meant to provide a basic overview of this legal right, how the right comes to be, who holds it, what it provides and also how this right can be lost.
An easement, at its most basic, provides certain rights to a person, or group (the “easement holder”) to use a piece of land that is owned by another (the “burdened estate”). There are several different types of easements, they can be created in different ways, and they can be extinguished as well. An example of a right-of-way easement would be when the general public is allowed to cross over private property to access water. In Maine, often people are unaware that the reason they are able to reach a shoreline (be it the ocean, a lake, or a river) is because of a legally established right that lets them cross over someone’s private property.
The full article is now free on the Teel Law Office website
Maine joined California and 15 other states and sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday for preventing the states from setting greenhouse gas limits for vehicles.
The states, together with five environmental groups, are asking a federal appeals court in San Francisco to overturn the EPA’s denial of a waiver that would have cleared the way for California to impose the nation’s first emissions limits.
At least 16 other states planned to follow California’s lead and impose the standards on at least 45 percent of the U.S. auto market.
The EPA denied California’s waiver on Dec. 19, arguing that it would result in a patchwork of state regulations. State officials and environmentalists accused the Bush administration of blocking progress against global warming.
Two University of Maine law students are representing their fellow classmates against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in a file sharing suit. The RIAA filed a suit in October, apparently as a first step in pursing individual students who allegedly downloaded music illegally. The RIAA suit does not name individual students, but will use the case as a means to subpoena the school, then go after individuals.
The law students filed a Motion to Dismiss the suit based on a Supreme Court decision that rejected similar tactics.
The two student lawyers, Hannah Ames and Lisa Chmelecki, are part of the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, which allows third-year law students to gain legal experience while providing legal services for clients with low incomes, including college students.
Ames and Chmelecki have been sworn in before the court and practice under supervision of a faculty member, who must sign off on their briefs before they are filed with the court.
– The Forecaster
Here is the Supreme Court opinion. The article incorrectly identifies it as a May 21 decision.