Lawmakers are looking to boost Maine’s troubled lobster industry with proposals that would pump more money into marketing and offer tax breaks to encourage more lobster processing.

Last year’s fishing season was chaotic, with a glut of soft-shell lobsters and a crash in wholesale prices.

One bill calls for sharply increasing surcharges on lobster fishing, wholesale seafood and other lobster-related licenses, with the aim of eventually raising about $3 million a year for promotions. This year’s marketing budget is about $380,000.

Lobstermen, for the most part, will probably accept the higher license fees, grudgingly, because they recognize the need to better promote lobster, said David Cousens, a lobsterman from South Thomaston who is president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.

“If we want to put our money where our mouth is and stop whining about low prices, we’re going to have to start having a marketing program that has enough money to affect the market and do some positive things,” he said.

Last year’s upheaval was brought on by a lobster glut that caused prices to plunge. Lobstermen last year caught a record 123 million pounds, but received only $2.68 a pound on average, the lowest price since 1994.

The proposed law would increase license fees by nearly eight-fold in three steps over three years beginning in 2014. The annual surcharge on the most common lobster fishing license would go from about $63 to $488.

Surcharges on wholesale seafood and lobster transportation licenses would rise to $1,950 a year, while processors would pay $2,600.

The fee increases would go toward marketing, which hopefully should increase demand and drive prices up, said Rep. Walter Kumiega, a co-chairman of the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee. Maine’s blueberry, potato and dairy industries spend a far larger percentage of their revenues on marketing than the lobster industry does, he said.

“We aren’t putting enough into it to get anything out of it,” said Kumiega, a Democrat from Deer Isle, one of the state’s most productive lobster-fishing regions.

Another bill would exempt purchases of lobster processing equipment from state sales taxes to help companies that want to start processing operations or expand existing ones.