HALIFAX -- Fisheries ministers from the three Maritime provinces say they're hoping for industry consensus to set up a fee that would pay for better branding of lobsters.

The ministers are meeting in Halifax with lobster harvesting and processing groups today and Thursday.

They are discussing a proposed levy of one cent per pound to be paid by fishermen, and another cent per pound to be paid by the onshore side of the industry, including buyers and processors.

Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp of New Brunswick says industry agreement with the levy would give the three governments the green light to pass enabling laws and create funding for marketing lobster.

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell and his P.E.I. counterpart Ron MacKinley also say their governments could impose the levy and they would rather do so with the industry clearly behind it.

The Maritime Fishermen's Union is boycotting the meeting over a disagreement with Ottawa's decision to boost the minimum lobster carapace size by one millimetre rather than two millimetres.