AUGUSTA – Efforts are underway in Augusta to ease the tension between lobster fisherman over zoning disputes.
The Marine Resources Committee heard testimony on a bill Monday to improve management of lobstering zones. The bill was intended for two zones between Ellsworth and Stonington.
The bill’s sponsor said if nothing else it may begin a conversation to improve relations among lobster crews.
Overcrowding is a problem at the zone border lines. And for decades some lobster men have resorted to vandalizing others lobstering gear.
Representative Brian Hubbell, D-Bar Harbor said “That’s probably a manifestation of the larger management issues, but gear cutting and that sort of thing, that’s criminal.that’s not condoned by anybody.”
The Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources said this past summer and fall saw more than 3,500 traps, worth more than $350,000 sabotaged because of trap wars. He said he was against this proposal as it failed to limit the restrictions to the zones where the fighting exists.