Tag Archives: Maine Legislature

Maine: Penalties for lobster fishing violations stiffened

Harsher penalties for fishing law violators went into effect last month after aspects of state Sen. Brian Langley’s (R-Hancock County) bill aimed at curbing violations was adopted as emergency legislation by the Maine Legislature. LD 575, An Act to Improve the Enforcement of Maine’s Lobster Laws, was adopted after the Senate voted 32-1 in favor of the changes on June 14. The new law sets minimum punishments for violations such as scrubbing lobsters, fishing over the trap limit, fishing “sunken trawls” (unmarked by a surface buoy) or untagged gear and molesting lobster traps. The bill also allows the Department of Marine Resources commissioner to revoke the license of anyone found guilty of sinking, burning or destroying another fisherman’s vessel. click here to read the story 14:34

Elver eel lottery system for permits is a go in Maine

Maine is implementing a new lottery system for licenses to fish for baby eels, which are worth more than $1,000 per pound on the worldwide sushi market. Baby eels, called elvers, are a major fishery in Maine, where fishermen sell them to dealers so they can be sent to Asian aquaculture companies to be raised to maturity and used as food. But industry members and lawmakers have said the fishery needs a way to bring new people into the business because many elver fishermen are nearing retirement and there is no way to get a license. The Legislature approved a permit lottery system last month. click here to read the story 13:26

At the Maine Fishermen’s Forum: Lobstermen work with state on new penalties for violations

Enforcement of marine resource laws was the top concern when lobstermen met with state regulators March 3 at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum. Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher and Col. Jon Cornish of the Maine Marine Patrol met with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association in a packed meeting room at the Samoset Resort to talk about the state’s efforts to improve enforcement of marine resource laws. “You guys don’t agree on much,” moderator Patrice McCarron of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association said, earning a laugh from the gathered fishermen. She said the common ground the fishermen had found was their concern about violations. “Lobstermen deserve to work on a level playing field,” she said, but violations make that field unfair, and there was concern the penalties have not been severe enough to deter illegal activity. Work had begun long before the forum with a survey of lobstermen in the association and throughout the fishing industry to see what their top priorities were in terms of enforcement. The results of that survey led to a bill going before the Maine Legislature to improve the state’s lobster laws. continue reading the story here 10:08

Baby eels are wriggling gold – Maine lawmakers look to ease restrictions on lucrative elver fishery

Fishermen are making money on sushi in Maine, the only state in the country with a significant baby eel fishery, and lawmakers are looking to make it possible for them to make more. A legislative committee recently approved a plan to extend the season by a week and allow weekend fishing, as opposed to the current limitation of five days per week. Elver fishermen have spoken in favor of the changes, which they said will allow them to make the most of the brief elver season, which is scheduled to begin March 22 and end May 31. Read the article here 18:58