Bill To Let Fishermen Off Lobster Wait List Gets Hearing

Feb 5, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine - Lawmakers have started considering a proposal to let dozens of people off Maine's lobster license waiting list.

Maine uses a waiting list system to allow new people into its lucrative lobster fishery, and critics of the system have complained that it takes too long to yield licenses. State lawmakers propose letting people off the wait list if they've been on it for 10 years or more.
 
Several lobstermen and individuals on the wait list attended a hearing Tuesday at the Statehouse.
 
Democratic Rep. Joyce McCreight, the presenter of the bill, said state data shows 274 people on the waitlist awaiting new licenses. Some members of the fishery are concerned about letting new people into the business when it is facing possible new restrictions to protect rare whales.