PORTLAND, Maine — Fishing regulators in Maine are planning to slightly expand the sea urchin harvesting season for the coming year.

The state Department of Marine Resources is proposing 15 urchin fishing days along the southern Maine coast and 38 days on the northern coast. That is the same number of days as last year.

The Whiting and Dennys Bay areas would have a 15-day season, which is six more days than last year.

Maine sea urchins are harvested for roe, which is popular as food in Japan. The urchin industry in the state had a slightly resurgent year in 2016. The fishery was worth $6.6 million, the most since 2003.

The season runs from September to March. The state is holding public hearings on the proposal on May 30 and May 31.

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