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Proposal would change rules for new lobstermen in Maine

Proponents say a productivity-based system would be a more accurate gauge of proficiency than a system based on logging time

A proposal in Maine would allow new lobster fishermen to complete their apprenticeships by demonstrating proficiency as opposed to by logging hours.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham of Winter Harbor would allow an apprentice to complete the program by bringing at least 4,000 pounds of lobster to the shore over a period of not less than two years.

RELATED: Bill to let fishermen off lobster wait list gets hearing

Faulkingham is a lobsterman himself, and says he believes a productivity-based system would be a more accurate gauge of proficiency than a system based on logging time. The apprenticeships are necessary to eventually obtain a commercial fishing license for lobster.

The proposal is set for a public hearing before the marine resources committee, on which Faulkingham sits, on Feb. 12.