Maine lobster industry supports new fee

AUGUSTA – Fearing back-to-back seasons of record landings but diminished prices, a majority of lobstermen, processors and dealers told lawmakers Wednesday that they’re willing to pay more to do their jobs if the state will spend more marketing its trademark product.

Their message was aimed at the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee, which is considering a bill to expand marketing of Maine lobsters by increasing surcharges on the licenses of lobstermen and dealers.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, is the result of numerous meetings of industry representatives during a difficult 2012 season, in which lobstermen hauled more crustaceans than the year before but saw demand and prices fall.

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