Marine fish and shellfish found in Maine waters (within 3 miles of shore) are managed by the State of Maine. Those that live further offshore or migrate in and out of Maine waters are managed by the US federal government. The local fisheries management agency for the federal government is the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) of the Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US Department of Commerce.
NOAA also acts through a series of regional councils, including the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC). This council is responsible for the management of northeast multispecies (groundfish, including American Plaice, Atlantic Cod, Atlantic Halibut, Atlantic Wolffish, Haddock, Ocean Pout, Offshore Hake, Pollock, Red Hake, Redfish, Silver Hake, White Hake, Windowpane Flounder, Winter Flounder, Witch Flounder, and Yellowtail Flounder), Scallops, Monkfish, Halibut, Herring, Small Mesh Multispecies (Silver Hake (Whiting), Red Hake (Ling), and Offshore Hake), Dogfish, Red Crab, Atlantic Salmon, and Skates. See the DMR species information page for pictures and more information.
Some near-shore fishery resources are managed by the States, acting together as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in cooperation with NMFS. The ASMFC manages American Eel, Black Drum, Black Sea Bass, Bluefish, Coastal Sharks, Croaker, Lobster, Herring, Horseshoe Crab, Jonah Crab, Menhaden, Northern Shrimp, Red Drum, Scup, Shad and River Herring, Spanish Mackerel, Spiny Dogfish, Spot, Spotted Seatrout, Striped Bass, Sturgeon, Summer Flounder, Tautog, Weakfish, and Winter Flounder.
See these federal links for more information:
- NEFMC and Atlantic States (ASMFC) meeting schedules
- New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC)
- NOAA Fisheries Service (NMFS)
- NOAA Greater Atlantic Region Fishery Office (GARFO) Letters and Bulletins for Federal Permit-Holders
More information from the Maine DMR:
- Inshore Trawl Survey
- Landings Data and Reporting
- Atlantic Halibut
- Maine Groundfish Fishing Regulations (see Chapter 34)
- Maine Groundfish Permit Bank
- Recreational Fishing Information
- Contact Megan Ware (resource coordinator and permit bank) or Rebecca Peters (DMR biologist, inshore trawl survey) for more information.