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DMR Home > Commercial Fisheries > Landings FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Maine Landings and Catch Reports

What are landings?

Landings are the report of the total number or weight of all marine species captured, brought to shore, and sold (or transferred) to another person or party.

Are “landings” the same as “catch?”

No.  Catch is a measure of all marine species removed from the marine environment, including bycatch, fish released, at sea discards and species not sold (transferred, etc.).  Landings are anything received from a harvester regardless of whether it is discarded or not sold.  Landings do not include all of the organisms that are released or discarded at sea.

Who reports to the DMR?

Seafood dealers (wholesale, retail, marine worm and elver) buying on a first-purchase basis (directly from harvesters) provide the landings.  Harvesters provide the catch data for some fisheries.  The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are the two principle agencies responsible for collecting landings and catch statistics in Maine. 

If dealer A buys from dealer B, does dealer A need to report?

If dealer A has a primary buyer permit, then YES; however dealer A would turn in negative reports, indicating the business is not buying directly from harvesters at this time.  DMR only collects positive reports from those dealers who buy directly from harvesters.

If a harvester (fisherman) also has a dealer license, does he/she need to report?

If this harvester is selling his/her own catch and/or another person’s catch under the dealer business, then yes, the business needs to have a primary buyer permit and report those landings.

What does DMR do with the information they collect?

One of the ways to monitor the health of Maine’s fisheries and the seafood industry is through the collection of landings and catch statistics.  The purpose of the data collection is twofold: first, to demonstrate the social and economic importance of marine resources to Maine; and second, to obtain accurate information on the amount of marine organisms caught or landed in Maine for use in fisheries management. 

Why does DMR ask for price information for landings?

Along with landings information, DMR asks the dealers to provide an average price they pay their harvesters per month for certain species.  This is important to collect because it is one way DMR can measure economic impacts on the seafood industry.  For example, after a disaster (like a red tide event or an oil spill), DMR can quantify the economic loss.  It is also a way to demonstrate the economic importance of the seafood industry to the state.

Is the information provided to DMR confidential or available to the public?

The information reported to DMR is held as confidential and released to the public only after it has been combined with other information in such a way as to not permit the identification of the data contributors.  The data is most often combined and released as county or state landings. 

Is reporting mandatory or voluntary?

All dealers who are licensed to buy from harvesters must report to DMR. In addition, 15 fisheries have mandatory harvester reporting: bait gillnet, dogfish, eel (yellow & silver stage), elver, green crab, halibut, herring, horseshoe crab, sea cucumber, seaweed, shellfish bait, shrimp, whiting, scallop (commercial and recreational license holders) and 10% of commercial and recreational lobster harvesters.

Do landings and catch data play a part in fisheries management?

Yes, landings and/or catch data are taken into consideration when management decisions are made.  They can help to describe when, where, and how many species are harvested along the Maine coast.

Questions about reporting can be directed to Heidi Bray, 207.633.9504

Go to historical Maine landings data