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Lobster Marketing Bill Supported by Committee
04/22/2013 04:42 PM ET  

The Marine Resources Committee voted unanimously today in support of a proposal calling for sharply increased fees to raise money to promote Maine's signature seafood.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ A legislative committee is endorsing a bill that aims to boost Maine's troubled lobster industry by pumping more money into marketing the state's signature seafood.

The Marine Resources Committee voted unanimously Monday in support of a proposal calling for sharply increased surcharges on lobster fishing, dealer and processor licenses, with the goal of raising about $3 million a year in promotional funding. This year's marketing budget is about $380,000.

The committee voted that the bill ought to pass with an amendment that cuts lobstermen's share of the funding to 50 percent.

Supporters say the industry could use a boost following last year's record harvest and low prices. Lobstermen last year caught a record 123 million pounds, but they received only $2.68 a pound on average, the lowest price since 1994.



 

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