January 2, 2013

Maine seeks input on lobster industry in public forums

BOOTHBAY HARBOR — A series of forums seeking public input into the state of the Maine lobster industry are getting under way.

Schedule of meetings with location and time

Boothbay Harbor - Jan. 2 at 5:00 p.m., Department of Marine Resources

Jonesport - Jan. 3 at 11:00 a.m., Jonesport Fire Station

Machias - Jan. 3 at 4:00 p.m., Machias Memorial High School Cafeteria

Gouldsboro - Friday, Jan. 4 10:00 a.m., Gouldsboro Community Center

Friendship - Jan. 7 2:00 p.m., Hahn Community Center

Tenants Harbor - Jan. 7 at 6:00 p.m., St. George Town Hall

Swans Island - Jan. 9 at 11:00 a.m., Swans Island Fire House

Mount Desert Island - Jan. 9 at 5:00 p.m., Mount Desert Elementary School

Yarmouth - Jan. 14 at 5:00 p.m., Log Cabin

Bucksport - Jan. 16 at 11:00 a.m., Bucksport Town Office

Deer Isle - Jan. 16 at 4:00 p.m., Deer Isle-Stonington High School Cafeteria

Vinalhaven - Jan. 17 at 11:00 a.m., Vinalhaven Town Office

Scarborough - Jan. 23 at 11:00 a.m., Scarborough Town Office

Bath - Jan. 23 at 4:00 p.m., Bath City Hall Auditorium

Bristol - Jan. 28 at 5:00 p.m., Bristol Town Hall

York - Jan. 31 at 5:00 p.m., York Public Library

Maine fishery officials are holding 16 public meetings through January in coastal towns from York to Machias. The first meeting is Wednesday in Boothbay Harbor.

The meetings were scheduled following the Gulf of Maine Research Institute's report entitled An Independent Evaluation of the Maine Limited Entry System for Lobster and Crab.

Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher says he's seeking ideas from people in the lobster industry about the harvest, prices, Maine's relationship with Canada, the state's marketing strategy and the lobster licensing system.

The industry was thrown into turmoil last summer when a lobster glut caused prices to fall, and Canadian lobstermen blocked truckloads of Maine lobsters from being delivered to Canadian processors.

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