SANDWICH — For nine years, Rob Martin spent winters with most of his 800 traps stacked in his front yard, struggling to stay solvent over the long three months when regulators closed the region’s lobster fishery to protect critically endangered whales.

Over the years, the 58-year-old lobsterman has attended countless public meetings, pleading with officials to find a way that would allow him and others to resume fishing during those hard months.

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