- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - State regulators are ready to hold the first of two public hearings about a plan to implement a new swipe card system for the state’s sea urchin fishery.

The hearing is scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m. in Augusta. The swipe card system would record transactions when urchins are bought or sold. Regulators say the state’s urchin fishery was valued at nearly $5.4 million in 2014.

Regulators say the rules would cover the 2015-16 fishing season, which begins in September and concludes in March. They are proposing the same number of fishing days as last year for both the southern and northern fishing zones.

A second hearing will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in Ellsworth. Written comments are due by May 29.

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