Some lobstermen refuse new surcharge

As legislators work on a plan to provide millions of dollars to market and promote Maine lobster by adding a surcharge to licenses, some lobstermen are balking at paying for an advertising campaign that they say will take money out of their pockets without giving them much in return.

“We are being forced, extorted, in an advertising scheme that we don’t benefit from,” said Nelson King of East Boothbay, who has been a lobsterman for more than 50 years.

“Advertising directly benefits the dealers’ market,” he said, so the campaign wouldn’t affect prices that lobstermen get for their catch.

Lobstermen already provide about $350,000 a year to the Maine Lobster Advisory Council’s budget for promotion of Maine lobster, through a surcharge on traps.

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