Maine Groundfish Permit Bank
The Maine DMR established the Maine Permit Bank Program (MPBP) in 2010 with a $2,999,999 grant from the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration?s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). DMR utilized the majority of the funds to purchase a total of eleven Federal Northeast Multispecies Permits with the purpose to assist small scale fishermen (vessels less than 55? vessels) as required by the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the DMR and NMFS as well as larger vessels later in each fishing year. These permits have provided immediate and long term benefits to Maine's groundfish industry by supplementing and maintaining continued access to groundfish stocks and fishing privileges associated with these permits. Maine DMR and NMFS intend for this Permit Bank to achieve the following objectives:
- To secure continued access to fishery resources for local, small-scale fishermen from small fishing communities throughout Maine;
- To create and protect sustainable local fisheries;
- To supplement existing access rights held by fishermen in small Maine communities; and
- To mitigate the effects of fishing effort consolidation on small-scale fishermen and rural fishing communities in Maine.
These fishing privileges were used to assist 22 vessels in Fishing Year (FY) 2019, with 1,923,985 lbs of groundfish stock allocations distributed out of the 2,025,821 lbs of ACE available in the Maine Permit Bank. A total of 268,131 lbs of the leased groundfish allocations were landed in Maine, leaving 1,655,854 lbs unutilized at the end of FY2019; most of the leased but unutilized allocations were made up of pollock. All groundfish ACE was leased to qualified participants at $1.00 per pound for Gulf of Maine cod, $0.30 per pound for plaice and witch flounder, and at no cost for the remaining species.