PORTLAND (AP) – A series of public meetings is being held this week to hear from Maine lobstermen about a plan to seek certification of their industry as sustainable fishery.

Gov. John Baldacci appointed a working group to pursue certification by the Marine Stewardship Council, an independent organization that promotes responsible fishing practices.

Many large buyers of seafood have pledged to only buy seafood carrying the council’s label. That’s led to concern that Maine lobstermen could be cut off from major markets if the industry lacks certification.

The hearings are being held Monday in Ellsworth, Tuesday in Rockland and Wednesday in Portland.

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