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waiting for a state license to harvest lobster - Apr. 04, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A proposal to let dozens of new lobstermen into Maine's signature fishery is going to be put off until at least 2020.

More than 200 people are waiting for a state license to harvest lobster, and the annual haul has grown in volume and value this decade. Democratic Rep. Joyce McCreight, of Harpswell, proposed bringing people into the fishery if they've been waiting for 10 or more years.

McCreight says she's going to withdraw the bill from the current legislative session and consider bringing it back in the next session, which starts in January. She says the lobster industry is facing too much uncertainty to bring more than 50 new fishermen in at once. The business is facing a bait shortage and potential new rules to protect whales.