AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Maine's Ground Fishermen are once again pushing to keep and sell the lobsters they pull in with their fishing catch at sea.
It is an issue that has divided two fisheries for years, pitting ground fishermen against Lobstermen. This year is no different with Lobstermen being adamantly opposed to it. They say they have worked hard to conserve their natural resource and allowing fishermen to keep lobsters will harm what they've worked hard to protect.
"I believe it will not save the ground fish industry and could be extremely detrimental to a thriving industry, which of course is the Maine Lobster industry", said Julie Eaton of the lobster industry.
Ground fishermen say Maine's rules are driving them away to other New England states where the lobster bycatch can be sold.
"In the past 5-years we have unloaded almost exclusively in Gloucester, Massachusetts and have landed approximately 20-million pounds of fish in Gloucester that could have and should have been landed in the State of Maine", said ground fishing boat owner Jim Odlin.
Maine is the only coastal state in New England that does not allow ground fishermen to sell their lobster bycatch.