Lobstermen spend most of their professional lives on the water in a solitary pursuit, but once a year, hundreds from the North Shore to the Outer Cape gather to talk shop and to wrestle with the challenges of an uncertain future.

The setting for the Massachusetts Lobstermen Association’s (MLA) annual weekend and trade show — a windowless conference room in Hyannis — almost couldn’t be further from a lobsterman’s typical environment.

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