Why Join the MLA

Dear Fellow Fishermen and Industry Supporter,

I know that when you decided to go lobster fishing you probably never considered that along with the problems of boats, traps, bait, price, weather and just trying to catch the little critters, that you’d also have to be concerned with insurance, federal and state fishing regulatory actions, whales, pollution, public relations, marketing, the economy, international developments, USCG safety requirements and other issues which sometimes seem so far removed from a day in a life at sea.  I know you and I never thought it would be this complicated, but here we are and yes it is.

Besides being a fisherman, a lobsterman is also a businessman trying to earn a living.  Many people ashore just don’t seem to understand all that is involved with “going fishing” as a livelihood.  On the other hand, the lobsterman / businessman can no longer just leave the dock, sail out and peacefully hide from the world out on some loran number line or around the leeward side of an island and hope to continue successfully his way of life.

Established in 1963, the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association (MLA), has always worked to help the Commonwealth’s lobstermen meet the multitude of challenges they face.  The MLA continues to work hard to conserve the American Lobster resource on which the lobstermen depend.  Today, the MLA is the major voice in the Massachusetts lobster industry.  Given today’s world, the lobster fisherman needs this shoreside support, this shield, this voice or in some cases, this vanguard to protect his flank or rear or to spearhead your goals as you do “your thing” which is, to go fishing.

If you are a commercial lobster fisherman or a supporter of the cause, shouldn’t you also be a member of the MLA?  As a businessman who is serious about earning a living, I would think that being a member of the MLA would be a must.  Think about it.

Be in the mainstream of the lobster industry while you do what you really want to do – go fishing.
Arthur “Sooky” Sawyer, MLA, President

Mission Statement
The Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association is a member-driven organization that accepts and supports the interdependence of species conservation and the members’ collective economic interests.


The Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Inc. is a Non-Profit Trade Association formed in 1963 by lobster fishermen with the following goals in mind.

  • To promote conservation in the lobster fishery of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and elsewhere.
  • To encourage enactment of federal and state legislation for the benefit of the commercial fishing industry of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and of the United States; and to oppose enactment of legislation that is contrary to the interests of the industry or of consumers of fish products.
  • To encourage and promote efficient and comprehensive law enforcement of marine fisheries laws and regulations.
  • To encourage sound and economical practices and eliminate unfair and uneconomical practices in the lobster fishery.
  • To promote the rights and well being of commercial lobster fishermen and their families under state and federal law.
  • To promote friendship and a spirit of cooperation among and between commercial lobster fishermen and other groups of commercial fishermen for the benefit of the industry.
  • To promote and exchange ideas with other fishermen’s and marine industry groups for their mutual benefit.
  • To sponsor educational programs and/or to conduct various investigations, experiments, tests, studies, ventures and projects, alone or along with others, to increase the knowledge and awareness of its members and others about the industry and its needs.


MLA Officers and Delegates contact list 2023-2028

Representation at the Federal and State governmental level.  A credible and consistent voice in the politics and management of the commercial lobster industry.

Direct Promotional activities designed to educate the general public on all the conservation measures you have implemented as well as to move your product in the marketplace.

Access to the best boat protection program available through MLA’s Non-Profit Boat Protection Cooperative, Ltd.. fishermenservices.com

College Scholarship Awards each year for children of active members entering their first year of college.  MLA 2024 Educational Grant Application

A monthly newspaper, which averages 40 pages, filled with news, notices, commentary, ads and information to keep you on the line and up to date.  This newspaper also features the MLA Classified section in which your listing is free as a MLA member.

Website www.lobstermen.com where MLA members can place their classified ad for free as well as information on the latest happenings with important links to many other industry and government fishery’s related sites. Classified Password – EATLOBSTER

Discounts for MLA members from many supporting businesses for goods, services and trade publications you use and need; Life Raft Services, New England Propeller, Sullivan Tire, Auto Tether and many more.

MLA’s Annual Weekend & Lobster Trade Show A free gift for members – a chance to relax, attend industry-related seminars, meet fellow fishermen and just have fun.

MLA Gear – T-shirts, sweatshirts, baby gear and more and the MLA also accepts both MasterCard and VISA for the convenience of its members.

MADMF Gear Conflict or Catastrophic Gear Loss Report 

2022 DMF Lobster Landings Tables