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Maine Lobstermen To Get Federal Relief After Lost Revenue From Tariff Dispute

Fred Bever
Maine Public

Maine lobstermen will get a share of $530 million in federal relief for the U.S. Seafood industry, which has been hurt by the trade dispute with China. China, at one point, raised tariffs on American lobster to 32 percent, significantly reducing Maine's exports there.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Maine Lobstermen's Association says it is pleased to learn about the relief and that, while Maine's lobstermen did not create the trade issues, they have had to bear the consequences.

Under the program, licensed commercial fishermen will receive direct financial assistance. Payment rates are being calculated using the USDA's assessment of the expected trade damage in 2019 for each species.

The Portland Press Herald is reporting that fishermen can net 50 cents for every pound of lobster brought to market last year, which could amount to $50 Million for Maine lobstermen.

Applications may be submitted to a producer's local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center for 3 months, beginning Monday, September 14.

Lobster is one of 16 seafoods eligible to receive funding.

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.