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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — It's a slow lobster season so far in Maine, but fishermen are still hopeful it'll be a good one.

The harvest of crustaceans in America's biggest lobstering state is usually in full swing by July, but fishermen say they haven't caught much this month. The season tends to pick up after many lobsters shed their shells and reach legal size. Fishermen say that hasn't happened yet.

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But the slow season isn't resulting in high prices. Consumers are paying about what they did last year. The slow start also means a bait shortage hasn't caused much worry.

Maine typically accounts for about 80% of the nationwide lobster haul. Catches this decade have been much higher than any in the state's history. The haul peaked at 132.6 million pounds (60.2 million kilograms) in 2016 and nearly topped 120 million pounds (54 million kilograms) last year.

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