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July 21, 2016

More of Penobscot Bay closed to lobster, crab fishing

Fishermen in general have accepted the June closure of a 5.5-square-mile section at the mouth of the Penobscot River to lobster and crab fishing after the Maine Department of Marine Resources found mercury contamination in lobsters caught in the area, according to The Ellsworth American.

“The response has been positive,” Nichols said in a Tuesday email to The Ellsworth American. “We’ve heard from both MLA (Maine Lobstermen’s Association) and DELA (Downeast Lobstermen’s Association) that they understood the need to make this change and appreciated our efforts to explain the closure in a way that acknowledges the impact on industry while protects consumer confidence in Maine lobster.”

The expanded closure went into effect June 21. It follows an earlier closure of 7 square miles in February 2014. 

DMR spokesman Jeff Nichols told the newspaper recently the lobster industry has supported the expansion.

NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect the response of fishing associations to the closure.

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