AUGUSTA — Maine lawmakers have put off a decision on a request by American Indian tribes to co-manage the state’s lucrative commercial fisheries.

The Marine Resources Committee met Wednesday to discuss a bill backed by the tribes, and the discussion will resume next week. Passamaquoddy Tribe legislative Rep. Matthew Dana says his bill would allow for cooperative management of species such as lobsters, clams and elvers.

Democratic Rep. Walter Kumiega said some lawmakers believe the state could reach agreement with the tribes without passing a law. The full Legislature would need to pass such a law after it leaves committee.

The effort by four tribes to have more of a voice in fishery management stems from recent squabbles between tribe members and state regulators over elver fishing.

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