Maine Coast Dock Talk recently sat down with Representative Jay McCreight to talk about a new bill that she submitted to the state legislator. In this bill, LD 28, folks on the waiting list for over 10 years will be allowed to get a license.
In Maine, we have a "limited entry" system for certain permits, including lobster, to control the number of participants in the fishery. Currently, over 7,000 individuals hold lobster licenses in Maine, not all of them are used every year but as one of the most valuable fisheries in the world, many want to make sure they can continue to have access to this industry. In order to control new entrants, one must either be young enough to go through the student and apprentice program (under 23) or join a wait list and get a permit when it becomes available.
Seven lobster management zones were created and represent co-management areas where fishing regulations are determined with the involvement of local fishery representation. Each zone has different rules for the number of people who have to exit the fishery before one new license is issues off the wait list.
in 2017, the following number of licenses were issued in each zone.
Zone A - 6 licenses awarded
Zone B - 3 licenses awarded Zone C - 13 licenses awarded Zone D - 3 licenses awarded Zone E - 3 licenses awarded Zone F - 3 licenses awarded Zone G - 3 licenses awarded
Once you're done listening, Below are some links and more information about the bill in question.
The following is the text that would be changed through this bill if the bill passes
7-B. New zone entrants on the waiting list for 10 or more years. Notwithstanding subsection 7-A, each licensing year, the commissioner shall authorize new zone entrants for each limited-entry zone that have been on the waiting list pursuant to subsection 6 for 10 or more years and have met the eligibility requirements under section 6421, subsection 5. The commissioner shall notify the authorized new zone entrants by certified mail. A new zone entrant authorized under this subsection shall comply with the trap tag limits established in section 6431-F, subsection 2, paragraph A.
The entire bill can be read HERE
The current regulations can be found HERE
Comments can be sent to MAR@legislature.maine.gov
The hearing in Augusta
Cross Building, Maine State House, Room 206.
Tuesday, February 5 at 1PM
If you can't make it to Augusta, you can watch the proceedings live http://legislature.maine.gov/Audio/#206