The National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing to extend, until April 2009, a deadline requiring lobstermen to use sinking rope instead of floating rope. The change had been scheduled to go into effect this October.
A final decision on the proposal is expected in August. Sen. Susan Collins says the postponement is good for Maine’s lobstermen because October is often the peak of lobster season.
Industry estimates have placed the cost of compliance at $10,000 to $15,000 for each nearshore lobsterman. The cost would be greater for those who fish farther offshore in winter months.