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Submitted pursuant to 5 MRSA c. 151-C
Revised  September 1, 2000


 I.       Introduction........................................................................................... 1 

II.       Department of Marine Resources ......................................................... 4
          A.  Vision and Values............................................................................ 4
          B.  Statutory Basis................................................................................. 5 

III.      Forces Shaping the Department of Marine Resources.......................... 6
          A. History and Organization.................................................................. 6
          B. External Environment....................................................................... 9
          C. Internal Environment...................................................................... 13

IV.      Issues and Goals ................................................................................ 16

V.       Revised Strategic Plan – Performance Based Budget  Measures  ...... 23


I.       Introduction 

This document is the Strategic Plan for the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) developed under the direction of Public Law (P.L.) 1996, Chapter 705.  The Plan identifies the strategic issues that face the Department over the next decade and how the office will respond to the challenges, opportunities, and uncertainties in marine resource management. 

Chapter 705 requires each agency to submit a draft strategic plan by August 1, 1996, and a final plan by February 1, 1997.  A strategic plan, however, is constantly being revised and updated in response to a changing environment.  Since the submittal of the Department’s final strategic plan, staff has worked on developing specific action plans to address each strategy.  Through this process, the Department has revised its final strategic plan to better reflect the results and benefits of the Department’s services to Maine citizens. 


This Plan incorporates information collected over the past two years from within the Department of Marine Resources and among its stakeholders.  There is broad and increasing public interest in Maine’s marine resources and the habitats that support them.  This interest is represented by the many public interest groups and political representatives with whom the Department works. 

The vehicle for advice to the Department is through a variety of advisory councils and committees.  Five are embodied in statute.  

          Department of Marine Resources Advisory Council consists of multi-industry interests and has advice and consent authority of all management regulations except those that come from the Lobster Policy Management Councils or those that concern public health.   

          Lobster Advisory Council  (a different body than the seven Lobster Policy Management Councils but comprised in part of representatives from those councils) has specific statutory responsibilities related to advice concerning the expenditure of funds derived from license fees and/or setting of seasons.  

Lobster Policy Management Councils are chartered to execute referenda on four specific fishing policies (e.g., trap limits) the results of which are submitted to the Commissioner for promulgating as regulations.  The Commissioner is obliged to promulgate successful referenda without alteration assuming that the proposal meets a  “reasonableness” test. 

Sea Urchin Advisory Council is charged with advising the Commissioner with regard to the expenditure of funds, the nature of the research agenda and in particular with regard to the distribution of statutorily limited fishing days. 

          Marine Recreation Fisheries Advisory Council.   The purpose of this advisory council  is to advise the Commissioner on issues pertaining to recreational marine fisheries including, but not limited to, the needs and priorities of the recreational sector, conservation measures, improvement of communications between recreational and commercial fisheries interests and programs to enhance the status of marine recreational species.  

There are other less formal advisory committees that are utilized by the Department as a means of securing input from various fisheries with regard to issues that are important to them, (e.g., elvers, soft-shell clams, aquaculture, etc.). There are also industry based organizations which represent specific industry interests on a species and geographic basis (e.g., Downeast Lobstermen’s Association, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Maine Seaweed Council, Downeast Draggers Association, etc.).  Many of these groups played a role in describing the key issues the Department will need to address in the coming years with this strategic plan. 


Employees of the Department of Marine Resources are essential stakeholders in the strategic planning process, providing knowledge, expertise, and insight into Department operations.  As such, they have been involved in the development of this Plan at various levels.  The Department’s bureau directors and division heads were the core group of people that helped shape the goals and objectives of the plan.  Staff at all levels were solicited for their input at various stages, especially in defining the strategies and action steps.  In addition, the Total Quality Management Council was involved in the process throughout. 

The Legislature - Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources 

The Joint Standing Committee plays a critical role in management of Maine’s marine resources.   The committee considers legislation with regard to management and allocation issues of several fisheries.  The legislation adopted as law by the full legislature establishes the policy for the state.  In those areas where the legislature establishes policy, the Department is very limited in what actions it may take.  It becomes important for the strategic plan, then to reflect common interests of the Legislature and the Department. 

The Department worked with the Standing Committee on the development of the strategic plan by soliciting their input during beginning  phases of the planning process.  There have been modifications to the plan presented to the Legislature since that time.


II.      Department of Marine Resources 

Vision Statement 

The Department of Marine Resources provides leadership in marine policy, the management of marine resources, the development of sustainable marine resource based business and the protection of the marine environment.  Our vision is of a Department of Marine Resources that provides the highest quality of public service where all people are treated as customers. 


To achieve our vision, we in the Department of Marine Resources value: 

  • A work atmosphere where everyone is treated with mutual trust, respect, honesty and integrity; 

  • Open communication to keep people informed and promote involvement with the work force;

  • Teamwork to improve the cooperative work atmosphere and quality of service that we provide;

  • Continuous improvement by promoting creativity, motivation, and cooperation; and

  • Professionalism by our commitment to personal responsibility and accountability. 


Statutory Basis 

Title 12,  Maine Revised Statutes

§6021.   Purpose 

The Department of Marine Resources is established to conserve and develop marine and estuarine resources; to conduct and sponsor scientific research; to promote and develop the Maine coastal fishing industries; to advise and cooperate with local, state and federal officials concerning activities in coastal waters; and to implement, administer and enforce the laws and regulations necessary for these enumerated purposes, as well as the exercise of all authority conferred by this Part. 

§6051.   General department activities 

The Department, under the direction of the Commissioner, may conduct or sponsor programs for research and development of commercial, marine recreational and anadromous fishery resources and other marine resources of the State which may include biological, chemical, technological, hydrological, processing, depuration, marketing, financial, economic and promotional research and development.  The Department may carry out these programs within the Department, in cooperation with other state agencies, and federal, regional and local governmental entities, or with private institutions or persons. 

The Department of Marine Resources is empowered to conserve and develop the marine resources of the State, and to enforce the laws relating to marine resources.  The Department has the authority to enter into reciprocal enforcement agreements with other states, interstate regional authorities and the Federal government; to cooperate, consult and advise with other appropriate state agencies on all interrelated matters involving the coast and its marine resources; to assist the industry in the promotion and marketing of its products; to close contaminated shores, waters and flats; to make regulations to assure the conservation of renewable marine resources in any coastal waters or flats of the State; and to hold hearings and to publish notices as may be required by law.  

The Department may adopt fisheries management plans and regulations for conservation purposes using any of the following factors: time, method, number, weight, length, or location.  It may adopt regulations as emergency for purposes of resources protection in the face of “unusual damage or imminent depletion”. 

The Department may adopt regulations to address problems concerning gear conflict for purposes of, among other concerns, “optimum economic and biological management...”.   It may do so as emergency regulations if “immediate action is needed to prevent serious economic dislocation”.


III.    Forces Shaping the Department of Marine Resources 

History and Organization 

The Department of Marine Resources originated in 1867 with the establishment of Commissioners of Fisheries.  In 1895, the Commissioners were renamed Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Game and a new Commissioner of Sea and Shore Fisheries was authorized, representing the first clear distinction between inland and coastal natural resources.  In 1917, the Commissioner was replaced by a Commission of Sea and Shore Fisheries, and in 1931, the Commission became the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries and the post of Commissioner was reestablished.  Both the Advisory Council of the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries and the Atlantic Sea Run Salmon Commission were created in 1947. 

In state government reorganization legislation of 1973, the 106th Legislature established the Department of Marine Resources, along with an expanded Marine Resources Advisory Council.  Additional duties and responsibilities were assigned to the agency and its council, along with those which were previously the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries and its Advisory Council.  A new eleven-member Lobster Advisory Council was established by the Legislature to assist the Commissioner on matters related to the lobster industry. 

The Department of Marine Resources is organized into three Bureaus: Administration, Marine Patrol, and Resource Management and the division of Community Resource Development. 

The Bureau of Administration was established to perform the administrative functions of the Department and to advise government agencies concerned with development or activity in coastal waters.  Duties also include coordination of public hearings for regulation changes and aquaculture leases following APA procedures. 

The Bureau of Marine Patrol is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the State and was established to protect, manage and conserve the renewable marine resources within the territorial limits of the State of Maine.  Over the years the Legislature has expanded the areas of responsibility to the enforcement of other laws and regulations of the State.  Personnel are authorized to enforce all laws of the State with primary emphasis on marine resources, the protection of life and property, and to arrest and prosecute all violators and serve all processes pertaining to those laws and regulations.  The Bureau enforces the State’s marine fisheries laws; boating registration and safety laws; conducts search and rescue operations on coastal waters; enforces all marine-related criminal laws; and serves as a general service agency to coastal residents and visitors. 

The Bureau of Resource Management is engaged in marine education, shellfish sanitation and public health, and scientific research and monitoring to conserve, restore and manage the marine and estuarine resources of the State.  Primary responsibilities are to conduct and sponsor scientific research which may include biological, chemical, hydrological, and technological research and monitoring, provide information on stock levels and environments of commercially and recreationally valuable marine organisms, and provide technical and scientific information, services and assistance to the public, industry and governments.  The Bureau conducts monitoring of water quality for the classification of shellfish growing areas, biotoxin monitoring, the Shellfish Sanitation Program, monitoring of finfish aquaculture operations, oil spill response activities, restoration of anadramous fish resources to Maine rivers, and marine education programs including the operation of the public aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor. 

The Division of Community Resource Development is responsible for other focused programs including watershed development, primarily municipal soft-shelled management.  Two area managers are concerned primarily with implementation of lobster policy management councils but are also responsible for knowing what the coming issues are in respective assignment areas.  In addition, marketing and aquaculture policy also fall within the Division of Community Resource Development. 


External Environment 

The Department of Marine Resources is affected by five primary external forces that impact its ability to carry out its mission.  These external forces include:
ü      Explosion of management activity at the federal and interstate levels;
Initiation of co-management of state resources;
Unpredictable changes in the natural environment and global market system;
Two major developing constituencies; and
Increasing turnover in the State Legislature.

 Explosion of Management Activity at the Federal and Interstate Levels

      Policy making for Maine’s marine resources takes place at all government levels and among many separate but interconnected arenas. 

§         Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) -- The ASMFC was formed among the fifteen Atlantic coastal states to assist in managing and conserving their shared fishery resources.  As a member of the ASMFC, Maine is obliged to be in compliance with regional fishery management plans by adoption of consistent management measures under either statute or regulation. ASMFC is responsible for development of fisheries management plans in 21 fisheries.  Maine participates in and is bound by 11 of those fisheries plans.

§         New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) -- The NEFMC is responsible for the development of federal management plans that address management needs beyond the state’s three mile territorial limit.  The Commissioner of Marine Resources, as well as Maine industry representatives, participates on the NEFMC.

§         National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) -- The NMFS is responsible for implementing the plans developed by the NEFMC and other regional councils.  In addition, the NMFS develops management plans for high seas species such as tuna and protects marine mammals under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

§         Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) -- The Department has the responsibility to protect public health from contaminated shellfish based on water quality and health standards for shellfish designed by the ISSC.  In order for Maine shellfish to be marketed outside of the state, Maine must be in compliance with these standards.

        Within each of these arenas, the state plays a role in assessment, technical advice, and management decision making.  Department staff must participate in the management process in order to be effective marine resource managers and to ensure that Maine’s interests are incorporated in critical management decisions that affect the fishing community.  These management decisions are often complex and require considerable expertise in both fishery science and policy development. 

        Management activity has increased dramatically in recent years due to increased exploitation of traditional fisheries and the emergence of new fisheries (e.g., sea urchins, elvers, whelks).  Some fisher resources in the Gulf of Maine are over harvested (e.g., groundfish, scallops), while others are fully exploited at the current level of fishing effort.  This decline in traditional fisheries threatens the structure and function of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the economic vitality of our coastal communities and makes management decisions even more critical to the state.  In addition, the increase in competition for scarce resources will result in more conflict among resource users.


Implications for the Department:
x    Need for fisheries management personnel.
Increased need for attention on interstate and federal arena. 
Federal/interstate process minimizes focus on state fishery management planning.
Reduced effectiveness of state management measures.
Increased capacity necessary in conflict management and mediation of disputes.


Initiation of Co-management of State Resources

       The Maine Department of Marine Resources, along with other fisheries managers around the world, has recognized that marine resource management has to involve the fishing community and other interested parties in the decision-making process. The State has started to create a new “co-management” approach in the lobster fishery that meets this need. This new form of management actively involves participants.  It has been well received by the industry and other fisheries who are interested in more localized management. 

       The “co-management” approach is the beginning stage for more comprehensive state management planning.  As offshore fisheries resources continue to decline, inshore fishing effort is predicted to increase.  This increased pressure may threaten inshore fish stocks, other marine organisms and near shore habitats.  New management approaches to resolve conflicts will be required.  Local management by regions expands the Department’s responsibilities and requires solid communication between the Department and local management councils.  This new approach to management requires fisheries managers with skills in developing fishery management plans in a participatory process.   The process is indeed creating “new government”  where those responsible, eg: Lobster Zone Councils, need time to learn how to govern.  Fisheries management under the concept of co-management becomes less “we vs they” and more “them and us”.  The transition is difficult and not always smooth.

Implications for the Department:
Improved management decision making for marine resources.
Greater local enforcement of management decisions.
Movement toward goal of achieving stewardship in marine fisheries.
Increased demands to participate at local management level.
Need for strong group process and conflict management skills.
Lots of data and information required for shared decision making.


Unpredictable Changes in the Natural Environment and Global Market Systems

      Changes in both the natural environment and global market systems occur throughout the year.  Disasters such as the Julie N oil spill in Portland harbor provide good examples of why preparation for natural and human impacts on the marine environment is critical.  Entangled whales, toxic dinoflagellate blooms, and chemical spills are potentially devastating to the marine resources and the coastal communities that depend on them.  However, these events are unpredictable and therefore are difficult to plan for adequately.

       Another unpredictable event that the Department must address on an ad hoc basis is the emergence of  new fisheries, such as for whelks and sea cucumbers.  New fisheries will continue to emerge as new markets are discovered and underutilized species are found to have a place in the global marketplace. As new fisheries emerge, it will be necessary to understand the resource and how to manage sustainable harvesting.  The Department has little capability to manage these emerging fisheries.

Implications for the Department:
x    Continued need for accident preparedness training.
Attention on emerging issues remains important.
Need to heighten awareness of changes in global markets.


Two Major Developing Constituencies 

The Department of Marine Resources is facing increasing responsibilities as two activities -- recreational fishing and aquaculture -- continue to grow and demand more constituent services.

      There are two major components in the aquaculture industry:  finfish and shellfish.  The finfish component is subject to very difficult domestic and international pressures that challenge the business.  The shellfish component slowly is developing a base.  Recent changes to the leasing framework encourage further development. 

      In the recreational sector, some fish populations have rebounded to the extent that Maine is being seen more and more as a premier saltwater fishing destination.  During the First session of the 199th Legislature the Marine Recreation Fisheries Advisory Council was created within the Department of Marine Resources.  The demands of this industry require progress in areas of public access, resource enhancement, and education.

  Implications for the Department:
x    Expanding economic prospects in aquaculture development.
Additional opportunities for recreational fishermen. 
Increased demand on Department to fulfill additional management, assessment and monitoring needs.
Heightened challenges to address conflicts among traditional and new resource users.
More participants means additional marine enforcement requirements.


Increasing Turnover in the State Legislature 

The State Legislature is the major policy-maker in the management of marine resources through legislative action.  Most of the authority for management measures and action in State marine waters is retained by the Legislature.  Once the Legislature has established the State fisheries policy by statute, the Department, even though it has general rule making authority, is enjoined from action in the thus pre-empted area.  As new fisheries come into being or old fisheries come under stress, the tendency of the Legislature is to adopt management structures in statute, not under regulatory format (e.g., lobsters, sea urchins and elvers). 

       Term limits, enacted by referendum, are causing a high rate of turnover in the State Legislature, starting with the 118th Legislature.  The management responsibilities of the Legislature are vital components to marine resource management in Maine.  A greater turnover in the Legislature will require additional efforts in communication between the Department of Marine Resources and the Marine Resources Committee

Implications for the Department:
x    Continued need to communicate the Department’s goals and objectives to the Legislature and assist in the development of management options for marine resources.
Increased responsibility to work on educating the Legislature about the Department and marine resource issues of the state.


Internal Environment 

In addition to external factors, the Department of Marine Resources is faced with internal pressures that impact the outcome of many of our activities.  Four principle forces that help to shape the Department of Marine Resource’s ability to carry out its mission are: 
Addressing multiple resource management needs;
Adjusting to dramatic loss of Department functions in previous budgetary cutbacks;
Teaming across the Department; and
Increased use of technology;


Addressing Multiple Resource Management Needs 

      Marine resources have always been a traditional part of Maine’s culture.  From fishing for plentiful cod back in the 1800’s to exploitation of new species such as urchins and sea cucumbers, many generations of Mainers have derived their income from the sea.  There are numerous responsibilities that come with managing these marine resources on behalf of the people of Maine.  An estimated 73 species of fish, 26 species of whales, porpoises and seals, and 1,600 different bottom-dwelling organisms reside in the Gulf of Maine.  In order to manage these species for current and future generations, the Department of Marine Resources must conduct biological, chemical, and technical research as well as assessing stock levels and habitat requirements.  There are currently over 70 marine species being harvested commercially.  The Department of Marine Resources is required to manage these, and emerging, fisheries. 

     Due to the magnitude of marine resource management needs, it is impractical to address them all.  However, the management agenda for the Department is externally driven.  The Department is constrained in its capacity to establish the management agenda and therefore has little control over the management priorities.  The Department maintains focus in certain management areas, but is compelled to respond to the management agenda driven by the constituents and politics.  This makes it extremely difficult for the Department to adhere to proactive agency planning instead of reactive management. 

Implications for the Department:
x    Inability to satisfy all customers promptly.
Increased demand for coordination with other resource agencies.
Need to build an understanding of how these resources relate to the marine ecosystem in order to manage them for a sustainable yield.
Need to work with neighbor states and Canada on common resource protection needs.
Constant struggle to allocate staff appropriately.
Flexible and broadly skilled staff essential.
Dedicated funding compromises capacity to respond. 


Increased Use of Technology

     The Department of Marine Resources has upgraded its office equipment in the last three years to maximize the potential of its staff.  A local area network joins the staff in all locations and this network is connected to the state wide area network.  All office staff can communicate with voice mail and electronic mail and are connected to the World Wide Web for research purposes.  The Department also supports and has access to the State’s geographic information system and administrative data bases.  All field staff and several office staff are equipped with pagers and cellular telephones to maximize efficiency and respond quickly to emergencies.

Implications for the Department:
x    Enhanced communication and research capabilities
Increased staff productivity and efficient use of time.
Improved coordination with Area Headquarters and field staff.
Increased communications and coordination with constituencies.
Need to provide for the training and self-development necessary to allow staff to fully utilize technical capabilities.
Need to find funding to maintain and upgrade systems on an ongoing basis.



Maine Department of Marine Resources

Statement of Goals 


GOAL A     



GOAL B    







IV.     Issues and Goals 

External and Internal Survey of Top Issues 

Goals lay out the future direction for the Department of Marine Resources.  Although they will never be fully achievable, they provide a beacon toward which to strive.  In determining the four goals for the Department, we asked the marine patrol to conduct a survey of fishermen along the docks to determine what DMR is doing right, what we are doing wrong, and what we should be doing to protect our fisheries.  The results of this survey were discussed at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum in 1995.  In addition, the Marine Advisory Council and DMR staff were asked to identify the top three most pressing issues regarding resource management and fisheries that DMR must address in the near future and the three most important factors facing their bureau or division.  The results of these discussions and comments laid the foundation for the Department’s goals. 


The Gulf of Maine supports a significant commercial fishery.  Maine’s annual fish catch is valued at over $200 million and ranked first in volume and second in value in the Northeast in 1996. Atlantic herring, lobsters, groundfish, and shrimp are the largest catches by weight.  Lobsters, sea urchins, groundfish, shrimp and scallops have the highest landed value.  

However, many of the fishery resources in the Gulf of Maine that Maine fishermen depend on are considered over harvested, while others are fully exploited at current levels of fishing effort.  For example, landings of groundfish and sea urchins have declined dramatically in recent years and there is ample evidence that a number of groundfish stocks are seriously depleted.  Lobster landings have been increasing in recent years, partly in response to increased recruitment, but also because of increasing numbers of more efficient traps.  Thus, the lobster resource is vulnerable to any future decline in recruitment.  Even Atlantic herring, which is an underutilized resource throughout its entire range, may be over harvested on individual spawning grounds in the Gulf of Maine in the summer and fall.  At the same time, the development of new markets has led to the emergence of a number of new fisheries in the last few years (e.g., sea urchins, sea cucumbers, whelks). 

The management of Maine’s marine resources requires consideration of the health and safety of consumers and participants in the fisheries.  As part of an agreement Maine has with the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) and the Food and Drug Administration, the areas from which shellfish are harvested are classified according to standards recognized internationally.  Compliance with the standards is essential to assure public health concerns are met for the consumer and is required to allow interstate transportation of shellfish.  Public attention has been focused on the health of coastal water quality and increasing interest by coastal residents to clean up contaminated shores and open their clam flats.  The Department of Marine Resources plays a pivotal role in maintaining high water quality standards and assuring public safety when consuming seafood.    

With over 3,500 miles of coastline and approximately 2,800 square miles of state waters, the commercial and recreational boaters in Maine waters are numerous.  During the summer months, the coastal bays and estuaries are alive with thousands of boaters that are required to have standard safety measures aboard.  The Department of Marine Resources marine patrol work with the US Coast Guard to assure safe boating practices in the congested summer season and the cold winter months. 

As the pressure on Maine’s marine resources continues to increase, it is even more essential to carry out the necessary research to determine how to maintain a sustainable resource base.  Well planned fishery management measures require a solid knowledge of the resource.  In order to maintain a healthy fishery, the Department of Marine Resources needs to fulfill its statutory mandate to “sponsor programs for research and development of commercial, marine recreational and anadromous fishery resources and other marine resources of the state.”  Therefore, consistent with our statutory core duties, the Department of Marine Resources adopts the following goal:

 Goal A: Maine will have a healthy and productive marine ecosystem where management of the marine resources is based on an increased understanding of the Gulf of Maine.            


Maine’s commercial fisheries are the backbone of many of our coastal communities.  These coastal communities rely on fishing not only as a major component of their economy but also as an important part of their culture.  In 1996, the Maine Department of Marine Resources issued 17,642 commercial fishing licenses to either individuals (self-employed fishermen) or to boats with crews.  As important as it is to understand the biological systems in the Gulf of Maine, it is equally important to understand the human systems when designing management plans. 

Under the “Jobs from the Sea” initiative, the State has as a goal to maintain the 22,000 jobs directly and indirectly related to the marine environment.  One of the strategies used to maintain the commercial fishing industry is to develop new markets.  In the age of the global marketplace, new markets are continuously emerging.  A component of sustaining Maine’s fisheries is to take advantage of these new opportunities.  Another important aspect of sustaining economic vitality is to maintain an infrastructure that supports commercial fisheries.  Through administering grant programs and other collaborative efforts with agencies and the fishing industry the infrastructure can be maintained. 

The traditional system of top-down management of fisheries has not resulted in a sustainable industry.  Therefore, it is important to begin planning for the future of Maine’s fisheries with those who are invested in them.  The new Lobster Zone Law has made an initial step at beginning a formal sharing of authority for management of the lobster resource.  Through this cooperative management approach, we are learning how to create management tools that are sensible both biologically and socially.  As a result of these kind of arrangements, fishermen have are better able to maintain their historic stewardship of their resources.  New programs such as the apprenticeship license are working to maintain the “stewardship ethic” in Maine’s fisheries. 

In addition to commercial fisheries, there are an estimated 200,000 recreational marine fishermen that contribute to the economic base of coastal communities.  As this industry continues to grow, it will become an even greater component of the coastal economy.  

Aquaculture continues to grow in Maine and is a significant component of the fisheries contribution to the state’s economy.  Most of the finfish development is concentrated in the eastern portion of the state in the Cobscook Bay area.  Nori, which is a variety of seaweed, is being grown in the Cobscook Bay area as well.  Shellfish aquaculture operations are more widely distributed with significant concentration in the Damariscotta river area.  As the industry develops new techniques, opportunities for economic growth will continue. 

The economic vitality of the seafood industry is a critical factor in maintaining the fabric of Maine’s coastal communities.  Therefore, consistent with our statutory core duties, the Department of Marine Resources adopts the following goal:

 Goal B:  Coastal Communities will have a sustainable fisheries and aquaculture economic base.



Maine’s fisheries use both mobile and fixed gear -- lobstermen use lobster pots, shrimpers use draggers, and urchin harvesters use SCUBA gear to dive.  Due to the intensive use of coastal waters for fishing and recreation, gear conflicts arise which the state must mediate.  In addition, as federal offshore fish stocks are limited to Maine fishermen, more and more commercial fishermen will turn to inshore stocks to maintain a living.  The growing number of commercial fishermen in coastal waters will escalate the need for conflict resolution. 

Fisheries law enforcement is predicated in large part on management plans that have the support of the fishing community.  Marine Law enforcement is accomplished at sea and on shore.  Fishing occurs on a year round basis, sometimes under difficult conditions.  The rules under which fishing occurs are evolutionary in nature but in general becoming more restrictive.  Marine enforcement personnel encourage compliance by working closely with the fishing community.  The fishing community is encouraged to work with managers and enforcement to develop needed management plans.    

Consistent with our statutory duties to protect public health and safety, the Department of Marine Resources adopts the following goal:

 Goal C: Maine will have a marine resource-based industry that is safe and encourages personal stewardship to support sound fisheries management. 



An important issue in all public agencies is the need to continually review and upgrade customer service.  A key component of this administrative goal is to enhance the communication between the customer and the agency and between staff people within the agency.   The Department of Marine Resources has financial and legislative responsibilities to the people of the State of Maine.  Employees interact with the public in many ways -- from marine patrol officers carrying out enforcement to researchers working with the industry to better manage the fisheries.  The efficient operation of the agency using the best available technology will facilitate the delivery of services.  In order to continue with internal improvements and to fulfill our statutory mandate, the Department of Marine Resources adopts the following goal:

Goal D: The Department of Marine Resources will be recognized as an agency that  maximizes efficiency and productivity and fulfills its statutory responsibilities.    


Performance Based Budgeting Measures 

Bureau of Resource Management 

Maine will have a healthy and productive marine ecosystem where management of the marine resources is based on an increased understanding of the Gulf of Maine.   

Maintain the number of people in Maine who understand that commercial and recreational fishing will continue to be an important and viable industry.

The Department of Marine Resources will administer programs to conserve and develop marine and estuarine resources; to conduct and sponsor scientific research; and to protect public health.


Current Services Targets

Current Performance Measures 





Number of fisheries-dependent samples collected





DMR monitors the status of the fisheries for American lobster, northern shrimp, green sea urchin, and Atlantic herring by sampling commercial catches for number, size, sex, and other biological parameters of animals in the catch, and information on fishing effort including gear, time spent fishing, and area fished. This measure provides information used to calculate the stock size of each species, rates of removal by fishing, and serves as the basis for management decisions.  The number of samples collected is increasing in order to improve estimates of stock sizes, provide improved data for management decisions that will maintain healthy commercial fisheries.

















Number of volunteers assisting in DMR programs

Volunteers throughout Maine’s coastal communities   assist DMR with the collection of water samples from shellfish growing areas, conducting shoreline surveys, phytoplankton monitoring and shellfish sampling.   This measure provides information used to:  increase open shellfish harvesting areas; develop a better understanding of harmful algal blooms that result in shellfish closures; and increase the level of community participation in shellfish management.  The increase in numbers of volunteers is the result of the DMR volunteer coordinator who works directly with volunteer groups, the efforts of DMR staff to engage the interest of local communities in shellfish management, and the development of the cooperative phytoplankton monitoring program that includes the DMR, Maine Cooperative Extension, the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and the phytoplankton monitoring volunteers.
























Number of Recreational fishermen 

Number of marine recreational fishermen
The DMR conducts dockside interviews with saltwater recreational fishermen as a part of the national Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey and conducts a logbook sampling program with marine recreational fishermen.  This measure provides information on the number of fishermen fishing, locations where fish are caught, species that are caught, and the size of fish caught.  The information is used to assess changes in abundance and size structure of species such as striped bass, the number of in-state and out-of-state fishermen fishing, and economic information.  The number of marine recreational fishermen is increasing as a result of increases in population size of striped bass, and DMR’s efforts to provide information on saltwater fishing and involvement with the marine recreational fishing community. 
















Acres of Shellfish habitat closed for harvesting 

The DMR conducts a Shellfish Growing Area Program that includes water quality monitoring of shellfish growing areas and shoreline surveys to identify sources of pollution.  Since 1993 the state has cleaned up and reopened more than 100,000 acres of shellfish flats. This provides additional harvesting opportunities for both commercial and recreational shellfish harvesters. The number of acres of shellfish habitat closed for harvesting is decreasing each year as a result of the increased water quality monitoring by DMR and volunteers, and focused team efforts of DMR and DEP in removing illegal discharges.

Number of red tide and pathology samples processed

The DMR conducts a biotoxin monitoring program to determine shellfish toxin levels caused by red tides, and conducts monitoring of the health of marine resources such as lobster.  This measure provides information for closing and re-opening shellfish harvest areas due to red tides, and information on diseases of marine organisms.  Biotoxin monitoring is essential to protect the public from potentially lethal effects of eating contaminated shellfish. The measure is increasing as the result of new surveillance programs for biotoxins and lobster health issues.






























Number of individuals attending the DMR aquarium

The DMR operates a public aquarium at the West Boothbay Harbor laboratory that provides marine educational opportunities to Maine school children in May and visitors from Memorial Day through September.  This measure provides information on the number people attending the aquarium who learn about marine resources in the Gulf of Maine through live exhibits and educational presentations.  The number of visitors to the aquarium is increasing due to increased interest in the marine environment by the public and the efforts of DMR’s marine education program to  provide a quality experience.  The result is increased awareness and understanding of marine resources, and stewardship of the marine environment.








Governor’s Marine Studies Fellowship Program    

Performance Measures                                                                 Baseline         1999-00     2000-01

1    Number of new students engaged in applied                              0                  8               10    
marine research                      

         The DMR administers the Governor’s Marine
Studies Fellowship Program that was established
to encourage the study of disciplines important to
the conservation, management and utilization of
marine resources.  This measures provides
information on the number of new research
initiatives in marine research in areas such
as applied aquaculture research, marine fisheries
science, coastal oceanography, marine technology
and biotechnology, and marine resource policy. 
The number of research projects has increased as
a result of the availability of new funding for research
and active recruitment of research proposals. 

2       Percent of non-state matching funds for each                        0                150             150
State dollar   

               The Governor’s Marine Studies Fellowship
Program requires contributing support from
academic institutions and aquaculture
and fishing industry organizations at a minimum
matching level of two non-state dollars for each
state dollar.  This measure provides information
on the level of commitment by these organizations
in support of marine research.  The amount of
non-state match has increased as the number
of research projects funded by the program has

Division of Community Resource Development 

Coastal communities will have a sustainable fisheries and aquaculture economic base.

Maintain economic opportunities in marine harvesting, processing, and fisheries support industries at no less than 1997 levels.

The Department will administer a program to promote and develop the Maine coastal fishing industries and to assess ecological impact with regard to alterations of the marine environment.


Current Services Targets

      Current Performance Measures





Municipality compliance with shellfish conservation programs.






Town performance in municipal shellfish management programs is reviewed annually.  This measure will reflect the results of that statewide assessment.  The measure helps to assess whether the program contributes to conservation of municipal soft-shell clam  resources.  The measure depicts how well town organize and implement management programs.  Towns are improving as more focused effort is applied to conservation programs,  DMR works closely with each town in this regard.

Percent of aquaculture leases reviewed in 14 months or less

Aquaculture leases are reviewed under a lengthy and rigorous adjudicatory process.  The objective is to maintain rigor but to shorten the length of time to final decisions so that business plan may be made.












Value of seafood landed in Maine.                   

 The measure is calculated using a model with inputs from
various economic indicators.  The measure is one indicator that reflects the strength of  the fishing and seafood industry.
The data will show the level of investment and product used in 
the  industry.  The trends will reflect the cumulative effects of 
fisheries management initiatives with regard to maintaining 
sustainable resources.

General Fund budget as a percent of the value of seafood Processed in Maine.            























Bureau of Marine Patrol 

Maine will have a marine resource-based industry that is safe and encourages personal stewardship to support sound fishery management.

Reduce the number of violations through compliance with conservation laws.

The Department will administer programs to implement and enforce the laws and regulations necessary for public health and safety and sustainable fishery management.


Current Services Targets

Current Performance Measures





Number of recreational boating accidents (tidal water).

Accidents greater than $300 value are reported to the state.  The measure represents accident rates as a measure of where enforcement/education should be applied. 





 Number of violations as a percent of boats checked

The data comes from Marine Patrol officer reports.  The measure depicts the level of violations of boating safety laws and is an indicator of where enforcement and education effort should be placed.  The emphasis is on education and bringing people into compliance not on issuing summons.





Number of violations (summons and warnings) as a percent of harvesters checked.

The data comes from Marine Patrol officer reports.  The data depicts the level of violations of fisheries conservation violations and is an indicator of where fisheries enforcement and education should be placed.  The emphasis is on education and bringing people into compliance with law, not in issuing summons.








Number of closed area violations as a percent of number of marine patrol hours in closed areas.

The data is from Marine Patrol officer reports.   The measure depicts the level of violations of closed shellfishing area violations and is an indicator of where enforcement and education efforts should be placed.











Number of boating violations as a percent of boat operation hours.

The data is from Marine Patrol officer reports.  The data is an indicator of at sea boating safety enforcement and education effort in the context of violations.











Number of violators prosecuted as a percent of harvester licenses. 

The data is from DMR license files.  It is a measure of the rate of prosecutions in the context of the total number of harvester licenses issued.  It is one measure of the rate of compliance with marine laws.  The higher rate in 1999 reflects a substantial decrease in elver licenses against a modest increase n then number of prosecutions.




Division of Administrative Services 

The Department of Marine Resources will be recognized as an agency that maximizes efficiency and productivity and fulfills its statutory commitments. 

Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of delivering the Department’s administrative services. 

The Department of Marine Resources will administer programs to assist with personnel, budget and finance, information technology and licensing.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES:                                                          Current Service Targets 

Current Performance Measures                                               Baseline      1999-00       2000-01

1   Percent of annual employee performance reviews              64%            70%              76%
completed on or before the employee’s
anniversary date. 

                This measure is important as it demonstrates the
Department’s commitment to providing feedback
on employee performance.  Measure will be taken
by simply counting the number of appraisals that
are filed timely.  Percentage should increase over
time as supervisors become more familiar with the
evaluation process.     

2    Number of competitively bid contracts that are                        0              0               0
successfully appealed.  

                 This measure is important as it demonstrates how
 rigorously the Department adheres to prescribed
contracting procedures, thereby increasing overall
productivity of administrative staff.  The measure
will simply be made by noting those appeals that are
successfully made against the Department.  Number
should remain at zero to demonstrate a good
comprehension of and adherence to the contracting

3    Percentage of grievances resolved at or below                       83%        86%          90%
Step 3 of the collective bargaining process.   

                 This measure demonstrates the Department’s
effecting handling of human resource matters
at the lowest level possible.  Effective supervisor
training will assist in keeping this percentage on
the rise.  Measure will be made by counting cases
resolved at or below Step 3 of the collective
bargaining process.                                                                

4    Number of hours of network down time as a                        3%               2.5%       2% 
percentage of total computer system uptime

                 Network availability will be calculated by means
of networking software that tracks down time. 
This will demonstrate the effectiveness of the
Department’s operations.  Percentage should be
stable or decrease over time to demonstrate an
efficient network.

5     Per financial transaction processing cost reflected            100%            98%      96%
as a percentage of the calculated baseline year cost. 

                 This measure will be made by comparing the total
cost of processing payment vouchers, journal vouchers
and budget documents to the number of those
documents processed.  This will demonstrate the
effective use of staff and the volume of work that can
be processed with as little rework as possible.     

6     Percentage of harvester license applications                     65%              68%        70%
Processed within 5 working days of receipt. 

                 This measure will made by comparing initial
license application dates to eventual licensure
by way of the MRLEN licensing system.  This
will demonstrate the efficiency of the licensing
staff and should be increasing over time to reflect
more efficient use of resources.


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