Clockwise from top left, Chellie Pingree, Jared Golden, Susan Collins and Angus King. Credit: Composite photo | BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — The congressional delegation from Maine is pushing for a federal rule change it said would make it easier to transport live lobsters.

The four-member delegation sent a letter to federal officials on Tuesday, calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to clarify a federal rule about the definition of agricultural commodities. The rules set maximum hours and safety standards for commercial truck drivers.

The delegation members said a previous farm bill changed the statutory definition of livestock to include animals such as fish and crawfish, but did not explicitly include lobsters. Lobsters are one of the most valuable exports from Maine, which is where most of the U.S. lobster industry is based.

The members said the rule change would mean truck drivers would be able to ship live lobsters from Maine to critical markets such as Boston and New York without having to make long stops along the way.