ELLSWORTH – The rules governing Maine’s sea urchin harvesting industry will stay mostly the same in the coming season.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources Advisory Council met Tuesday to set terms for the urchin fishing season, which runs September to March. The council decided to allow fishermen on the western coast to fish up to 15 days and fishermen in the eastern to fish up to 38.

Those are the same specifications as the previous season. The urchins are harvested so their roe can be used in food.

The fishery has declined somewhat in recent years. Members of the fishery say that has to do with harvesters aging and retiring with no one to take their place. They’ve harvested more than 2 million pounds only once in the past six years.

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