Maine seeks to revive sea urchin fisheryAP , Associated Press
Dec. 8, 2013 11:30 AM ET
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers are examining ways to hasten the recovery of Maine's long-struggling sea urchin fishery.
Members of Maine's Marine Resources Committee are reviewing a bill carried over from last session that some say could help the fishery rebound.
The fishery peaked in 1993 with a harvest of more than 41 million pounds. Last year, fewer than 2 million pounds of urchins were harvested in Maine. But even that small harvest brought about $5 million for the state's 400 sea urchin harvesters.
Maine's two-zone concept for sea urchins may be hindering the fishery's recovery, said Democratic Rep. Michael Devin of Newcastle, Maine Public Broadcasting Network (http://bit.ly/18pYVn3) reports. He's introduced a bill that would create small-scale sea urchins zones.
"Those two zones are much too large because the sea urchin population dynamics are very on a much smaller scale than our present zones," he said. "And so the thought is that if we can go ahead and establish small-scale sea urchin zones that take into account the population dynamics of what's happening in that specific area, the fishery may be able to manage a little bit better."
The committee will continue to work on the bill when lawmakers return next month.
Information from: WMEA-FM, http://www.mpbn.net/index.html