Long waits prompt Maine lobster licensing review | News

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Long waits prompt Maine lobster licensing review
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine's 15-year-old lobster-licensing system will soon get a top-to-bottom review for the first time.

The Department of Marine Resources is awarding a contract to a consultant next month calling for an independent analysis on the system. A report with recommendations for improving the system will be presented to the Legislature's Marine Resources Committee in January.

Critics of the existing system say it can take years and even decades for people to now get a lobster license. There are 302 people statewide on the waiting list.

Existing license holders say the system for the most part is working as designed - protecting the lobster resource as well as the traditional lobster fishing communities along Maine's long coast.

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