- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A Maine legislative committee is getting ready to host a potentially contentious public hearing about changes to the state’s lobster licensing laws.

Rep. Walter Kumiega, a Deer Isle Democrat, has proposed several changes to the licensing system. Proposed changes include the creation of a new class of license that would be limited to 300 traps instead of the usual 800. The proposal will go before the Legislature’s marine resources committee on Wednesday for a hearing.

The changes are designed to streamline the process of obtaining a license. There is a backlog of nearly 300 people on the waiting list and some of the fishermen have been on the list for more than a decade.

Lobstermen are split on the changes. Some fear the possibility of overfishing for the valuable crustaceans.

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