By Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine fishery regulators are taking the final comments about a proposal to track the sea urchin fishery with swipe cards.

Friday is the final day for fishermen and others to comment on a proposed rule change for the coming fishing year that would create a mandatory swipe card system to record transactions where fishermen sell urchins. Maine regulators say the proposal could help bring added flexibility and better data collection to the fishery.

Maine’s urchin fishery is valuable, but has tailed off considerably since the boom years of the 1990s. The high year was $35.6 million in 1995. Last year’s value was slightly less than $5.4 million. The proposed rules would cover the 2015-16 fishing season, which begins in September and concludes in March.

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