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Maine lobster by-catch bill fails to gain support

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A legislative committee has tabled a bill to allow net fishermen to bring lobsters they inadvertently catch to Maine, but committee members say there is virtually no support for the proposal. Senator Anne Haskell of Portland submitted a bill to let fishermen sell their lobster by-catch in Portland to help maintain the city’s fish auction, processing plants, fuel and ice suppliers, and related businesses. Many Maine fishermen now bring their catch to Massachusetts, where it is legal to sell lobsters that get caught in their nets. Senator Christopher Johnson, cochairman of the Marine Resources Committee, said committee members are willing to listen to other proposals that would help the Portland fishing industry.

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