Halibut hearing

ELLSWORTH — The Maine Department of Marine Resources will hold hearings on halibut regulations at Ellsworth City Hall on Thursday, June 7, at 5 p.m. and at the University of Maine Machias Science Building on Wednesday, June 6, at 5 p.m.

The new state rules, enacted in April as emergency regulations and scheduled to become permanent in June, are designed to prevent state licensed harvesters from exceeding the allowable catch limit in state waters and contributing to an overage for the combined state and federal fishery.

The length of the state waters halibut season will be reduced by 10 days at each end of the season, and the number of hooks allowed will drop to 250. The new rules also include a prohibition on possession of halibut by those license holders who have been issued state commercial halibut tags when operating seaward of the territorial waters boundary.

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