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Business and Economy

Maine To Freeze Expanding Lobster Bait Fishery For 2 Years

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine officials want to close a lobster bait fishery to newcomers while they develop new management, licensing and an enforcement plan.

The Portland Press Herald reports Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher will present a plan to freeze the fishery at its current size for two years to state lawmakers on the Marine Resources Committee in February.

The commissioner says the 2018 menhaden season was challenging because the sharp reduction in the herring quota spurred growth in the menhaden fleet. The demand resulted in 50 new boats rushing to satisfy the nearly $500 million lobster industry's need for substitute bait.