Tag Archives: Maine Department of Marine Resources

Maine gets another 4.7 million pounds of pogy, or menhaden, but will likely need more bait fish

The state ordered its menhaden fleet to stop fishing on June 30 after officials concluded it had exceeded the state’s annual quota of 2.4 million pounds by 1.5 million pounds, the majority of which was landed in the last four days of June, according to state records. But menhaden, a schooling forage fish also called pogy, were still abundant in Maine waters from Kittery to Penobscot Bay, so Maine sought access to another 4.7 million pounds of quota that is set aside for New England states to share when they catch their limit but the fish remains in large numbers. >click to read< 10:10

From DMR, MENHADEN: Daily Reporting Required for the Episodic Fishery – The menhaden fishery will resume under the episodic event set aside (EESA) program. The quota for the EESA is 1% of the 216,000 mt coastwide TAC, which equates to approximately 4.7 million pounds. DMR has implemented emergency regulation to open the Episodic fishery on Monday, July 15, 2019. >click to read<

Mills comes out against ‘foolish’ federal regulations to protect right whales

Gov. Janet Mills is directing the Maine Department of Marine Resources to come up with an alternative to a federal plan to protect the endangered right whale from the state lobster industry, saying she won’t allow “foolish” regulations to make life harder for the state’s fishermen.,,, Some fishermen complained that it took Mills too long to come to their defense, and some worried her feisty tone might prompt federal regulators to take even more drastic action to protect the right whale, but many welcomed the support from the Blaine House.  “It’s nice to know the governor was listening to us,” said Cutler lobsterman Kristan Porter, the head of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.  >click to read< 18:30

Canadian company wins approval for new lobster bait fish

The blackbelly rosefish is an abundant species that ranges from Canada to South America. Cooke Aquaculture, a New Brunswick, Canada-based company, requested Maine’s approval to sell rosefish as bait, and the company announced plans to harvest the fish off Uruguay. “We believe this is a solution to address concerns from the lobster fishery on the challenges they are currently facing on account of bait shortages,” said Glenn Cooke, chief executive officer of Cooke Inc., which includes Cooke Aquaculture.>click to read< 22:22

How the blackbelly rosefish from South America could help Maine lobstermen who are short on bait

The state for the first time has approved using fish raised off the coast of Uruguay as lobster bait to help offset a bait shortage that could increase lobster prices. Cook e Aquaculture USA of Machiasport announced the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ decision on Wednesday, saying it could help lobstermen weather a drop in the population of their primary bait source, herring, off the Maine coast. The New England Fishery Management Council in June cut the amount of herring fishermen can catch off the New England coast in 2020 and 2021. >click to read< 21:44

Lobstermen fed up, facing drastic rules to protect whales, say president should help

More than 100 fishermen attended a meeting with Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher June 20 at Camden Hills Regional High School. Lobstermen said they have already changed to weaker, breakable lines and sinking line in an effort to pacify government regulator’s who say the whales can become entangled in the ropes and die. “The end game is to have us not fish,” one lobsterman said at the meeting. >click to read<10:00

Keliher gives fishermen homework on whale rules

“Feel free to yell at me,” Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), told a packed gym at the Trenton Elementary School Tuesday. “But it’s the federal government that’s driving the bus here.” Keliher was in Trenton for the first in a series of meetings with lobstermen up and down the coast to discuss specific ways for the lobster fishery to meet targets established in April by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (TRT), which works under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. >click to read<11:51

Lobstermen at state hearing wary of regulations to protect whales

“Behind the scenes, they all say exactly the same thing,” Horner, the chairman of the local lobster zone council, said at a state hearing on new right whale protection regulations. “Fishermen could accept (a trap cut), I think, but not if we are going to have more people coming in to fill the gap, especially those from outside.” The Maine Department of Marine Resources kicked off a monthly series of public information sessions on the new whale rules Tuesday. More than 100 lobstermen from the local zone, which runs from Franklin to Frenchboro, turned out.>click to read<11:47

Coast to coast, companies team up to fund UMaine lobster research

A $75,000 gift from two seafood companies will fund a fourth field season for a University of Maine deepwater lobster settlement monitoring program. The deepwater research is an extension of the American Lobster Settlement Index, which was initiated in 1989 by Rick Wahle, a research professor in the School of Marine Sciences and director of the Lobster Institute. The index includes collaborators and monitoring sites from Rhode Island to Newfoundland.,,, The 2019 field season will be funded by a $50,000 gift from Ready Seafood Company, and a $25,000 gift from Santa Monica Seafood Co., a seafood distributor in California. (Thank You!) >click to read<11:42

Luciano: Could Asian carp help a desperate Maine lobster market?

Officials in Illinois and Maine hope to soon announce a breakthrough that in both states could help solve aquatic challenges and boost economics. The news could especially bring a boon to central Illinois. In Illinois, invasive Asian carp choke the Illinois River. In Maine, the lobster industry faces a crisis for a sudden lack of lobster bait. If all goes well, commercial fishers in Illinois soon could be harvesting and shipping tons of Asian carp to Maine. >click to read<

2019-2020 Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Awards Announced

Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) have selected 13 projects for awards through the Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program. The awards are expected to generate more than $14 million; $2.8 million to fund research, and $11.4 million to compensate industry partners who harvest set-aside quota.,,, Among the research projects that will be supported this year are automated image annotation for optical scallop surveys, testing different scallop dredges for efficiency and performance, and development of a high-resolution model to assess the potential impact of offshore wind resource facilities on the regional fishery industry.>click to read<16:42

Maine elver season gets slower start, but values still above average

Maine’s elver fishery got its start on 22 March, and at two weeks in, the average price-per-pound is sitting well above historical averages. Maine’s elver fishery made headlines last year as the prices being paid for the baby eels hit historic highs, with some reporting getting prices of over USD 2,500 (EUR 2,225) per pound. Maine Department of Marine Resources landing statistics show that the fishery brought in USD 21.7 million (EUR 19.3 million) in 2018, with an average seasonal price of USD 2,366 (EUR 2,105) per pound, making it the second-most valuable fishery in the state behind lobster. >click to read<10:42

UNACCEPTABLE – Strict right whale protection goal raises concerns among lobstermen

Patrick Keliher, head of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, announced the proposed target at a conference of U.S. and Canadian lobstermen in Portland Friday while defending a decision to cancel three meetings with Maine fishermen to talk about looming right whale protections.,,, The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that fishing rope entanglement kills or seriously injures five to nine right whales a year,… A few minutes later, Keliher got an email from the fisheries service that spelled out its risk reduction target. Frustrated, he stood up and delivered apparent bad news – he told an already exasperated audience that the service now wanted a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in the size of the lobster fishery. The room erupted with anger. >click to read<22:49

Lobstermen petition state to tighten aquaculture rules, want a moratorium on large aquaculture leases

A wave of aquaculture operations has swept along the coast in the last few years, sparking concerns from some about waterfront access, aesthetics and interference with other commercial fisheries. “I’m here to let the Department of Marine Resources know that their system of granting aquaculture leases is broken or even worse, non-existent, as far as it pertains to the commercial lobstermen in this state,” said John Powers, a lobstermen who has fished around Brunswick for 40 years, at a press conference in the State House Wednesday. >click to read<12:24

Despite a banner year, looming bait crisis leaves plenty of Maine lobstermen anxious

Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, is worried about the severity of herring restrictions imposed by the federal government after the species failed to reproduce in sustainable numbers last year. “It’s about as bad as we can imagine, but we don’t yet know what it’s going to translate to for the fishermen,” McCarron said. McCarron said that Maine fishermen face a shortage of some 50 million pounds of bait in the coming season. “We’re seeing an 84 percent reduction in that particular source of bait, so we’ll have less than 5,000 metric tons, which will probably be caught in a week, in one week,” she said.>click to read<12:04

Congrats to Maine’s Lobstermen Who Smashed Previous Year’s Catch By 8 Million Pounds

Maine lobstermen brought more than 119 million pounds (54 million kilograms) of the state’s signature seafood ashore last year, an increase that helped to propel the total value of Maine’s seafood to the second-highest value on record, state officials said. The value of the 2018 lobster catch was more than $484 million, and the total value for all Maine seafood was more than $637 million, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources. >click to read<11:13

New controls in Maine to prevent poaching of valuable eels

Maine’s lucrative baby eel industry will likely face tighter controls this year designed to thwart poaching, as officials consider requiring state law enforcement officers to oversee the packing and shipping,,, This year, the Maine Department of Marine Resources is looking to add a requirement that elver exporters in the state must notify the Maine Marine Patrol 48 hours before preparing to pack and ship the eels. The officer will witness the weighing and packing,,, >click to read<11:22

Record Lobster Production Defies Alarmist Climate Scare

Marine fisheries data show New England lobstermen are benefiting from a new golden age of lobster, thanks in large part to a warming Earth. Yet Democrats in Congress and even lobster lobbyists asserted in House climate hearings earlier in February that global warming is causing a lobster apocalypse. Thankfully, facts and scientific evidence can help us put this latest global warming scare to rest. On February 7, Democrats in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held hearings with the purpose of raising concern about global warming. >click to read<14:33

Subcommittee Hearing: Healthy Oceans and Healthy Economies: The State of Our Oceans In the 21st Century – Video, >click to watch<

Whale rule changes coming on two tracks

Maine lobstermen and their representatives, along with state fisheries regulators, continue in the trenches of debates about how much the Maine lobster fishery is implicated in the decline of the North Atlantic right whale. Ongoing efforts to protect the whales from entanglement with fishing gear may result in two different new sets of regulations, Sarah Cotnoir, resource coordinator for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, told the Zone B Council last week. >click to read<11:03

Maine scallop fishery, a conservation success story, to start for the winter

The state’s rebuilt fishery for scallops, which runs from November to April, is getting started for the winter in the coming days. Many in the state’s seafood industry consider Maine scallops a conservation success story, as the fishery collapsed in the mid-2000s and slowly rebuilt to the point where fishermen last year collected the highest total since 1997. >click to read<18:45

Maine: 1,300 fishermen wanted first new scallop licenses since 2009. Only four got them.

The state has chosen four fishermen from eastern Maine from almost 1,300 applicants who sought the first new scallop fishing licenses to be issued in Maine in the past nine years. The Maine Department of Marine Resources held a lottery this week to determine who among the nearly 1,300 applicants would be allowed into the lucrative scallop fishery this coming winter. >click to read<08:22

Regulators moving to ban exotic bait that could threaten lobster fishery

The American Lobster Management Board took a first step toward adopting regional bait safety rules, voting Monday to develop a resolution to prohibit the use of exotic baits that could introduce disease, parasites or invasive species to East Coast waters.,, The board – which is part of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission – agreed to develop a bait safety resolution based on Maine’s rules that all lobstering states would enact by 2020 – a quick but voluntary fix. >click to read<09:36

Ropes are latest flashpoint in tug of war over right whales

The lobster industry is willing to consider switching to weaker rope to protect the endangered right whale from deadly entanglements, but whale defenders say that doesn’t go far enough to help a species that can’t bear even one more death. A team of scientists, regulators, animal rights groups and fishermen met this week in Providence to review proposals,,, The team is advising the National Marine Fisheries Service on how to prevent whales from getting entangled in fishing gear as they migrate, feed and mate as they travel back and forth along the East Coast of the United States and Canada. >click to read<11:54

Lobster industry blasts proposed regulations intended to protect whales

Maine officials and members of the state’s lobster industry are blasting a new federal report on the endangered right whale, claiming it uses old science to unfairly target the fishery for restrictions.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources, the agency that regulates the $434 million lobster fishery, and the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, the trade group representing Maine’s 4,500 active commercial lobstermen, question the scientific merits of the report from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, which was issued in advance of next week’s meeting of a federal right whale protection advisory team. “They’re painting a big target on the back of the Maine lobster industry, but the picture isn’t based on the best available science,” DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher said Thursday. >click to read<09:34

Northern Shrimp: Maine fishermen demand better science before canceling another shrimp season

Members of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Thursday in Portland to review the most recent stock assessment and make recommendations on whether Maine will see a shrimp season next year for the first time since 2013.“Spawning stock biomass and total abundance remain low, with little sign of recovery,” Toni Kerns, an ASMFC fishery management plans coordinator, wrote in an email about the shrimp population in the Gulf of Maine.,, But Maine’s shrimp fishermen, facing a sixth consecutive barren season, are calling the survey process by the ASMFC a “sham” and say the entire process to measure the recovery of Maine shrimp should be overhauled. >click to read<08:37

Maine’s rebuilt scallop fishery looks to year of more growth

Maine is known for producing scallops that are somewhat bigger than other East Coast states, and some are plucked from the icy waters by hand during winter. Others are harvested by boats with fishing gear. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has said strict management of the harvest has allowed the scallops to rebuild from collapse in the mid-2000s. The state is looking to continue that trend this year with a season that keeps fishermen restricted to tight limits on the number of pounds they can harvest. Fishermen are also limited in the number of days they can fish, and the state is looking to trim a few days. >click to read<10:19

With Trap War Brewing, Maine Department Of Marine Resources Implements Limits For Lobster Trawls

The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is imposing a new five-trap limit for lobster trawlers in an area around Mt. Desert Rock, about 6 miles off Frenchboro. The limit will go into effect starting in October.,,, “I’m troubled when an industry creates conflicts among themselves, and we couldn’t work it out, and to me it’s one of the problems with the zone system,” said Keliher. “You have more effort in [Zone] C, and that effort needs a place to go, and they are moving into other areas. That creates a trap-density problem, and as soon as you have a trap-density problem, you have social problems. And those sometimes lead to enforcement problems.” >click to read<12:52

Maine DMR sets up lottery for new scallop licenses

This week, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) announced the final terms for two newly established lotteries for scallop fishing licenses. One lottery is for dragger licenses, the other for diver licenses. The catch, though, is that nobody knows for sure how many licenses, if any, will be available each year. DMR has been working for more than a year on a plan to bring new entrants into the scallop fishery. The lotteries announced this week are the culmination of extensive discussions last year among members of DMR’s Scallop Advisory Council with considerable input, often heated, from industry members. >click to read<09:09

Elver fishermen push for higher quota, say resource isn’t endangered

Despite the abrupt end to the elver season last month due to poaching, elver fishermen continue to support an increase in Maine’s annual catch limit. The Bangor Daily News reported that more than 60 elver fishermen appeared at a hearing held Wednesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission — the interstate body that oversees the eel and elver fishery, among others — to consider whether to raise the quota from 9,688 pounds to 11,749 pounds. >click to read<13:47

Illegal fishing drives early shutdown of elver fishery

The Department of Marine Resources announced Wednesday afternoon that it will shut down the elver fishery two weeks early “because of illegal sales which jeopardize the department’s ability to manage the fishery.” The department will use its emergency rulemaking authority to close the season. The elver fishing season will close at 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 24. The season was scheduled to end at noon on Thursday, June 7. Under the regulation, licensed harvesters may not fish for or take elvers after 6 a.m. on May 24, but may possess and sell elvers until noon on that day. Licensed dealers may purchase elvers until noon on May 24, and may possess legally purchased elvers until 6 a.m. on May 29. >click to read<08:34

Maine: New halibut rules aim to keep fishery open

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has reminded harvesters with an Atlantic halibut endorsement of new state regulations designed to keep the state compliant with federal rules. The new state rules, enacted in April as emergency regulations and scheduled to become permanent in June, are designed to prevent state licensed harvesters from exceeding the allowable catch limit in state waters and contributing to an overage for the combined state and federal fishery. >click to read<10:26