ELLSWORTH, Maine — Fishermen are used to having to wait until they catch something, but there are many in Maine who don’t think it is right that they should have to wait a decade or more to catch lobster.
The state Department of Marine Resources agrees that the waiting list for lobster licenses in most fishing zones along the coast is too long and, if possible, something should be done to reduce the time it takes to get a license.
At a meeting last week in Ellsworth — one of several DMR has held over the past month along the coast — Commissioner Patrick Keliher told a group of nearly 60 people that he wants to make waits predictable, so that applicants will know roughly how long it will be before they get their license. But, he added, the department wants to avoid increasing the number of active lobster traps in the fishery, which he said already is being “fully exploited” by licensed fishermen.
“What do people on the waiting list want?” Keliher asked the group at Ellsworth High School, most of whom were fishermen with and waiting for lobster licenses. “They want predictability.”
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