A bill that would tweak the state’s commercial lobster license system is scheduled for a public hearing with the legislature’s Marine Resources Committee Feb. 3.

LD 1503, “An Act to Create a Class II Limited Lobster and Crab Fishing License and Improve the Limited-entry System,” was sponsored by Rep. Walter Kumiega (D-Deer Isle) and drafted in consultation with Department of Marine Resources staff. The bill makes some changes to entry into the lobster fishery and other changes to address latent effort (traps and licenses not being actively fished).

Between 2012 and 2014, only two fishermen were issued new licenses off the apprentice program waiting list in Zone B, which includes waters off Mount Desert Island. In that same period, 31 young people received Zone B commercial licenses when they upgraded their student licenses to commercial ones, bypassing the waiting list.

Zone B has a waiting list with 54 names, with the top seven having joined the list in 2005.

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