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Maine lobster by-catch bill fails to gain support

April 22, 2013

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A legislative committee has tabled a bill to let net fishermen bring lobsters they inadvertently catch to Maine, but committee members say there’s virtually no support for the proposal.

Portland Sen. Anne Haskell submitted a bill to let fishermen to sell their lobster by-catch in Portland to help maintain the city’s fish auction, processing plants, fuel and ice suppliers and related businesses. Many Maine fishermen now bring their catches to Massachusetts, where it’s legal to sell lobsters that get caught in their nets.

Sen. Christopher Johnson, co-chairman of the Marine Resources Committee, said committee members showed no support for the bill at a Monday work session, but are willing to listen to other proposals that would help the Portland fishing industry.

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