Tight control of transposon activity is essential for the integrity of the germline. Recently, a germ-cell-specific organelle, nuage, was proposed to play a role in transposon repression. To test this hypothesis, we disrupted a murine homolog of a Drosophila nuage protein Maelstrom. Effects on male meiotic chromosome synapsis and derepression of transposable elements (TEs) were observed. In the adult Mael(-/-) testes, LINE-1 (L1) derepression occurred at the onset of meiosis. As a result, Mael(-/-) spermatocytes were flooded with L1 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) that accumulated in large cytoplasmic enclaves and nuclei. Mael(-/-) spermatocytes with nuclear L1 RNPs exhibited massive DNA damage and severe chromosome asynapsis even in the absence of SPO11-generated meiotic double-strand breaks. This study demonstrates that MAEL, a nuage component, is indispensable for the silencing of TEs and identifies the initiation of meiosis as an important step in TE control in the male germline.