PORTLAND, Maine — Maine lobstermen who feel their business has been hurt by imports are signing up for a special business training program that could offer also offer them cash.

Patrice McCarron of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association says the program include can up to $12,000 cash payments.

Maine blueberry growers are also eligible for the training.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers program is being offered after the USDA determined lobstermen and blueberry growers were hurt by imports last year.

The Portland Press Herald says lobster imports increased 5.9 percent last year, while the value of the lobster catch plunged to $228 million from a three-year-average of $279 million.