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 three goals:
- to educate the public about Maine’s lobstering heritage,
- to support scientific research that furthers the industry,
- to offer charity to distressed fishing families.
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.”
Antonina ‘Andi’ Pelletier, Office of Programs & Development
Antonina is responsible for the Maine Lobstermen’s Association’s fundraising. She assists in the production of the MLCA’s monthly newsletter, Landings, maintains the MLA and MLCA websites, and the social media accounts. She can answer questions about advertising and is more than happy to create an event to help support the MLCA. An active volunteer, she has served on the Community Advisory Board of Maine Public, led the Yarmouth Football and Yarmouth Lacrosse Clam Festival Committees, and been a long time volunteer with several Therapeutic Riding Programs. You can also find her talking to lobster to any and all interested people. Antonina continues to live in her hometown of Yarmouth, Maine, where she raised her three children.
Amber-Jean Nickel, President
Amber-Jean joins us after many years in the value added lobster industry, as well as stints in non-profit work. She brings a wealth of business and marketing experience and a life well-traveled, to bring insight and new ideas to our small organization. She is the parent of five children so when she’s not talking lobster, she can be found on the sidelines cheering her home team on.
Melissa Waterman, Communications Coordinator
Melissa Waterman grew up in a small town in Rhode Island. She attended graduate school at University of Rhode Island and served as a coastal planner for the six towns on Martha’s Vineyard for several years before coming to Maine in 1989. She worked as senior planner in the U.S. – Canadian Gulf of Maine program for a very, very long time before running an art gallery in Florida. Since then she has worked as a coffee shop barista, grant writer, marine policy instructor for SEA in Woods Hole, science writer for the University of Maine Sea Grant program, reporter for The Free Press, and freelance environmental writer for National Fisherman, Commercial Fisheries News, Coastal Living, Boston Globe and other publications. She lives in Rockland Maine and spends a good deal of her time on, in and occasionally under the water.
Dr. William J. Brennan
Dr. William J. Brennan served as President of the Maine Maritime Academy and is a leading authority on environmental policy relating to oceans, the atmosphere, and maritime issues. He has served as Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and as Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources for the State of Maine. In addition to his NOAA duties, Dr. Brennan served as the Director of the United States Climate Change Science Program and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs. He headed W.J. Brennan Associates, a policy and management consulting firm with private and public sector clients in natural resource, energy and environmental areas. Dr. Brennan holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, a masters degree in Marine Affairs and doctoral degree in ecology and environmental sciences from the University of Maine. He received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Rhode Island for a distinguished career devoted to marine and environmental policy.
Stephen Brooks Stephen Brooks is co-owner of Brooks Trap Mill, a small, Maine-based family business.
James L Dow, Vice-Chairman
James Dow is a commercial fisherman and small business owner with more than 30 years of experience. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Mr. Dow organized events and served as a host for the International Lobstermen’s Exchange in 2010. He holds an associate degree in business management.
Amy Lent served as the executive director of Maine Maritime Museum. She has worked in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Her work experience includes serving as director of marketing for two museums in Pennsylvania and at businesses including Saks Fifth Avenue and Pet Valu International. Ms. Lent is active on many boards and committees including the board of the Council of American Maritime Museums, Association of American Museum’s National Programs Planning Committee, Roundtable for Executives’ Museum Leadership Development and the New England Museum Association, Maine State Office of Tourism Commission, Main Street Bath, and City of Bath Transportation Commission.
Kristan Porter is a small business owner and commercial fisherman who fishes for lobster and runs a dragger for scallops, urchins and mahogany quahogs. He has been active in fisheries issues focused on sustaining Maine’s maritime heritage over the years having served on the Maine Fishing Industry Development Council, DMR Advisory Council, Sea Urchin Advisory Council and was president of the former Downeast Draggers Association. Mr. Porter currently serves on the ASFMC herring advisors and is the fishing industry representative on the Marine Resources Education Program (MREP). He also currently serves as the President of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.
Elliott Thomas, Treasurer and Secretary
Elliott Thomas is a small business owner and commercial fisherman with more than 40 years of experience. He is active on science and educational issues related to fisheries having served as chair of the Commercial Fishing Safety Council and on the board of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, and Lobster Advisory Council. He also served on the Zone F lobster council. Mr. Thomas volunteers his time for several cooperative research projects including hosting state sea samplers, juvenile lobster, temperature and large whale research studies. He holds a bachelors degree in geology.
Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance
PO Box 315
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
Maine Lobstermen’s Association
The MLCA is proud to partner closely with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA), which advocates for a sustainable lobster resource and the fishermen that depend on it.
The MLA was founded in 1954 and is currently the oldest and largest fishing industry association on the east coast. Representing 1,200 members, the MLA works to sustain both the industry and the resource. The MLA strives to be proactive on issues affecting the lobster industry and is active in the management process at the state, regional and federal levels. For more than 60 years, the MLA has provided a credible voice for the industry on important issues and is highly regarded by both the fishing industry and the management community.