Proposal Would Change Maine Lobster Licensing
By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s lobstermen are debating a proposed law designed to streamline the process of obtaining a coveted lobster fishing license.
Lobsters are the cornerstone of Maine’s marine economy, and the state is in the midst of a multiyear boom in catch. There is also a backlog of nearly 300 people on the waiting list for a license. Some of the fishermen have been on the list for more than a decade.
Rep. Walter Kumiega, a Deer Isle Democrat, has proposed changes to the system. Fellow Rep. Robert Alley is also a Democrat and a Beals lobsterman. He says changes will prevent lobstermen from being sidelined for years.
David Cousens is the president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. He says changes risk overexploiting lobsters.
A public hearing is set for Feb. 10.