AUGUSTA (AP) – Gov. John Baldacci is taking steps to help Maine’s lobster industry as it suffers through tough times brought on by the world’s economic woes.

Baldacci has directed members of his administration to meet with financial institutions and look at other ways to help lobstermen and others in the lobster industry survive the difficult financial times.

The prices paid to lobstermen have fallen to as low as $2 a pound in many places, which is about half what they got last year at this time.

Industry members say consumer demand is soft and that processors who normally buy large volumes this time of year have their hands tied because of tight credit markets.

Baldacci said the situation is creating a crisis for thousands of families and the “very life blood” of many small towns.”

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