Tag Archives: Maine DMR

Updates to the Lobster Industry from Commissioner Keliher

As I have promised before, I want to make sure you are as informed as possible as the situation around right whales evolves. There have been several developments in the last week, many of which speak to the seriousness of the situation. Maine Lobstermen’s Association V. National Marine Fisheries Service, As you know, DMR is a participant in the lawsuit filed by MLA which asserts that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) erred by failing to rely on the best scientific information,,, >click here to continue<  16:02

DMR brings news of declining young lobsters, resiliency measures to local lobstermen

“We’re not talking about whales.” Those were among the first words from Kathleen Reardon, lead biologist for the Maine DMR, to lobstermen at Stonington Town Hall on March 31. Both ongoing lawsuits and legislation aimed at protecting right whales from entanglement with lobster trap lines have delayed lobster stock assessments and analysis. But now lobster councils are meeting across the state to hear about a draft addendum to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission lobster management plan for the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, where 90 percent of U.S. landings are. The ASMFC manages near-shore fisheries for 15 states, including Maine. The draft addendum would affect Lobster Management Areas 1 and 3 and off Cape Cod as well as Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  >click to read< 16:37

Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association files motion to join lawsuit

The Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association filed a motion to join the Maine Lobstermen’s Association’s lawsuit, challenging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 10-year right whale protection plan. The plan requires lobstermen to make significant changes to prevent whales from getting tangled in their gear. The group filed the motion in Washington D.C. District Court, looking to join the lawsuit as a third party. >click to read< 16:50

Marine Patrol Identifies Fisherman Whose Body Was Recovered from Port Clyde Harbor

Port Clyde Harbor – After notifying family members, the Maine Marine Patrol is releasing the name of the fisherman whose body was recovered last night from Port Clyde Harbor. The body of Travis Thorbjornson, 54 of Warren was recovered by Marine Patrol and local fishermen last night at approximately 9pm. Marine Patrol received a report earlier in the evening that Thorbjornson’s skiff was found adrift in the harbor with no one aboard. >click to read< 12:14

A Final 2020 DMR Update from Commissioner Pat Keliher

As 2020 slowly draws to a close, I’d like to share with you one last monthly update on the work of Maine DMR before we close the books on a year of challenges. Pat. New England Fishery Management Council actions,,, DMR has been auditing the data collected through the CARES Act application process,, Additional coronavirus relief has been approved by Congress however it is much too early,,, much more, >click to read< 12:20

DMR Bulletin: SBA to Resume Paycheck Protection Program Tomorrow, Monday, April 27 at 10:30am

The Small Business Administration will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30am EDT. This loan provides small businesses, including eligible self-employed individuals, with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits, utilities, mortgage interest and rent. These funds will likely go quickly so we urge people to talk with their bank or credit union soon about this loan. Paycheck Protection Program Loan Information >click to read< 13:20

Coronavirus: Maine DMR To Open Elver Fishery After Implementing COVID-19 Protections

After ensuring protocols are in place to protect fishermen, dealers and communities from the spread of COVID-19, the Maine Department of Marine Resources will open the elver season at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 30, 2020. Under the authority established by Governor Janet Mills’ March 15 Civil Emergency Proclamation, licensed elver harvesters may fish for and sell the quota of another licensed harvester. Dealers have also agreed to limit transactions significantly by only buying 1 pound or more of elvers. >click to read< 12:12

Coronavirus: Maine DMR Temporarily Closes Elver Fishery

Due to public health concerns associated with COVID-19, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has announced the closure of Maine’s elver fishery, which had been scheduled to start Sunday, March 22, 2020. The closure, done through emergency rulemaking, will be for a minimum of two weeks and will be reassessed at that time. “The Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact Maine’s fisheries in ways we could not have imagined,” said Maine DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “Portions of the elver fishery make it impossible to follow social distancing recommendations, including maintaining 6 feet from other people to reduce the spread of this disease.” >click to read< 18:41

Marine Resources Committee off to an ambitious start

On Tuesday, the committee scheduled public hearings on two bills submitted on behalf of the Department of Marine Resources. The first, LD1922, would establish a special commercial fishing license for menhaden.,, Rep. Genevieve McDonald (D-Stonington) sponsored LD1922 on behalf of DMR to address possible changes in the way the menhaden fishery is managed. Other bills relating to other fisheries, and other interesting updates,,  >click to read< 16:23

Meetings this week – Lobster industry braces for right whale changes amid turbulent times

“Right now, we’re all fishing hard, so it’s taking our mind off it some, but it feels like we’ve been waiting and worrying about what whales might do to us for so long now,” said Jake Thompson, a Vinalhaven lobsterman. “We can manage the rest of it, but whales? Everybody’s worried about whales.” Lobstermen will have a chance to weigh in on Maine’s plan to protect the endangered right whale from buoy line entanglements at Maine Department of Marine Resources meetings in Ellsworth, Waldoboro and South Portland this week.  >click to read<  06:51

Next Round of Right Whale Meetings On Hold – Revised Schedule Will be Sent When Available

Dear Lobster Industry Member, Last week, DMR sent a notice that the Lobster Zone Council meetings scheduled for the current week had been postponed. At this time, DMR is advising the industry that the entire schedule of meetings is currently on hold. The Commissioner regrets the delays but wants to ensure that we develop a proposal for submission to NMFS that reflects a thorough review of all data.  Please be assured that we will share with you an updated meeting schedule when it becomes available. >click to read<  10:09

Conservationist intends to sue five states over whale entanglements, including individual lobstermen

A noted North Atlantic right whale conservationist who is suing Massachusetts officials over the licensing of commercial lobster pot gear has said he intends to do the same thing in five other states starting with Maine. The Maine DNR is killing and injuring endangered whales and sea turtles in U.S. coastal waters from its licensing of lobster pot gear, and gill nets, said Richard “Max” Strahan of Whale Safe USA, which is based in Cambridge. >click to read<08:18

Blue Hill Bay Urchin fishermen troubled by trackers

The start of the early season for divers, rakers and trappers to fish for sea urchins is less than a month away. Early this month, harvesters who work in Blue Hill Bay learned that the Department of Marine Resources will be right there with them on their boats, at least figuratively. Early this month, DMR announced that urchin fishing in most of Blue Hill Bay will be banned except for fishermen who agree to carry an electronic GPS tracking device on their boat and keep it turned on and “continuously recording data” as to the boat’s geographic location throughout the entire fishing season. The rule applies to boats that drag for urchins as well as to boats used by divers, trappers or rakers.,,, “It seems totalitarian,” one fisherman said. “The noose seems to be getting tighter every year.” click here to read the story 16:56

Maine’s most fertile scalloping ground to close on Sunday

Fishing regulators are shutting down Maine’s most productive scallop fishing grounds for the season to protect the valuable shellfish. Cobscook Bay is the most important scalloping area along the Maine cost. Maine marine resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher says it needs to be shut down for the season on Sunday to make sure it stays fertile. Maine’s scallop season runs from December to April, but the closure of Cobscook typically represents a slowing down of the season. The state frequently shuts down scalloping areas early to conserve them for future years. Maine fishermen harvested more than 530,000 pounds of scallops in 2016. That was the second-most productive scallop fishing year in the state since 2001. (AP) link 11:18

Geez, Louise!!! Maine DMR seeks to reduce waiting times for lobster licenses

Fishermen are used to having to wait until they catch something, but there are many in Maine who don’t think it is right that they should have to wait a decade or more to catch lobster. The state Department of Marine Resources agrees that the waiting list for lobster licenses in most fishing zones along the coast is too long and, if possible, something should be done to reduce the time it takes to get a license. “What do people on the waiting list want?” Keliher asked the group, most of whom were fishermen with and waiting for lobster licenses. “They want predictability.” Read the rest here 19:55

Computer Glitch shuts inshore herring fishery causing bait shortage – Price Spikes!

While the DMR says the Atlantic herring fishery is usually very predictable, because its quotas are monitored throughout the year, a computer glitch caused regulators to miscalculate the quota in the inshore areas of the gulf of Maine. This caused an immediate cap on herring fishing in that area without warning, causing bait prices to spike in many northern fishing areas. Fishermen Downeast say, a normal price for a bushel of bait herring would be $25, but as late as last week, the price shot up to almost $40 in many areas. Video, Read the rest here 12:46

2 Maine Scallop Areas Shut Down

The state is closing Pleasant Bay and Lower Englishman Bay. Both are located in Washington County. State officials say continued scallop fishing in the two areas could “damage sub-legal scallops that could be caught during subsequent fishing seasons.” The Pleasant Bay closure also includes the Harrington and Addison Rivers. Read the rest here 11:37

Lobster, Lobster Lobster!

BDNMaine gears up to address looming lobster problem: the high number of inactive lobstermen – “Our industry’s changing. We need to be able to change with it,” Bob Baines of Spruce Head, who chairs the DMR’s lobster advisory council, said. “This is going to be a tough one — but you can’t keep kicking the can down the road. It needs to be dealt with.” Read more here

As the ocean gets warmer, are the lobsters heading to cooler northeast waters? – The lobster catch in zone A, from Schoodic Point east to the Canadian border, is seven times more now than it was just 10 years ago, Train said. “It’s good for them, but zone A, that’s our last zone,” he said, suggesting that maybe 10 years from now the majority of lobsters will have migrated even farther east — to Canadian waters. Read more here 09:01

Maine DMR closes two more areas to scallop fishermen

An emergency rulemaking by the Department of Marine Resource will close the Machias Bay Limited Access Area and the Sheepscot River, effective Saturday. The action is the latest in a series of conservation measures taken by the agency in recent weeks to curtail the scallop harvest during a season when fishermen are enjoying record high prices. Read [email protected]  20:38

Maine regulators’ deal with native tribes over elver fishery dissolves

AUGUSTA — A tentative deal between state regulators and Maine’s Native American tribes over the upcoming elver season collapsed Wednesday, as state officials cited concerns by the Office of the Attorney General that such an accord would violate the state constitution and be impossible to enforce. Read [email protected]  19:54

Maine DMR commissions new patrol boat

MOUNT DESERT — The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) gave the Marine Patrol’s enforcement capabilities a serious upgrade last Wednesday morning with the commissioning of a new patrol boat at the Henry R. Abel & Co. boat yard on Somes Sound. Built by SW Boatworks of Lamoine, the Dirigo II is longer, beamier, faster and more rugged than the 16-year-old patrol vessel Dirigo that it replaces. Read [email protected]  12:57

Maine Department of Marine Resources to meet with fishermen about reducing elver catch

ELLSWORTH, Maine — State officials have scheduled two public meetings to get feedback from fishermen about how Maine should reduce its elver landings next spring. [email protected] 20:52

Maine DMR to hold off on new lobster measures

After holding more than a dozen meetings along the Maine coast in January, state fishery officials have decided not to pursue any new management measures for Maine’s most valuable fishery. “We’re not going to pursue anything at this time,” Keliher said to a packed room of more than 100 people, most of them fishermen. Read more

State of Maine shuts down more scallop fishing areas – go into effect on Monday, Feb. 25

In the latest round of closures in Maine’s scallop fishery this winter, state officials have decided to shut down three more areas to scallop harvesting. All three of the most recent closures go into effect on Monday, Feb. 25, according to DMR officials. Read more

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DMR to Conduct Public Forums on the State of the Lobster Industry

Maine seeks input on lobster industry in public forums

MAINE: Washington County lobstermen fish around centuries-old boundary dispute with Canada

For two Fairhaven quahoggers, industry needs all the help it can get