ROCKLAND — Law enforcement officials are urging more cooperation from people in Maine’s tight-knit fishing communities as they investigate disputes among lobstermen.

Maine Marine Patrol Maj. John Fetterman says people shouldn’t fear retaliation for talking to investigators. He says law enforcement officials are used to dealing with confidential information and “every effort will be made to protect those who come forward.”

Fetterman says there has been tension and turf wars among lobstermen up and down the coast this summer. But problems have escalated in Owls Head and Matinicus Island.

This week, someone sabotaged three lobster boats, sinking two of them, in Owls Head. So far, there’s been no arrest. And less than three weeks ago a lobsterman on Matinicus Island was charged with shooting another lobsterman in a territorial dispute.