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Public hearing set for Tuesday on annual fund to aid lobster harvesters, commercial fishermen hurt by new rules

Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 8:32 AM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine’s state government might set up a $30 million annual fund to aid lobster harvesters and other commercial fishermen who have been economically hurt by new rules designed to protect rare whales.

New federal rules make an approximately 950-square-mile area of the Gulf of Maine essentially off limits to lobster fishing from October to January.

Federal authorities implemented the rules to try to help save North Atlantic right whales, which are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear and number less than 340.

The proposal to create the fund is up for a public hearing before a committee of the Maine Legislature on Tuesday.

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