Maine Lobster and Crab Bait Information

It is illegal to sell or use any marine or freshwater organism as lobster or crab bait that is classified by DMR as "prohibited", or that has not been approved by the Department of Marine Resources. Please note that only approved freshwater or marine organisms may be used as ingredients in manufactured lobster and crab baits as well.

It is important to note that under Maine law, a person may not use offal as bait to fish for or take lobster or crabs. A person may not sell offal for use as bait to fish for or take lobster or crabs. Under law, "offal" means the carcass, waste parts, renderings or remains of a wild or domesticated animal that is not a marine organism.  

The Lobster and Crab Bait Review Process is found in Chapter 25.11.

Lists of Approved and Prohibited Baits and Prohibited Bait Risks

Lobster and Crab Bait Dealer Permit Requirement

All lobster/crab bait dealers must obtain a DMR wholesale dealer license with bait endorsement. Download the wholesale dealer applications on our Licensing page. Any person who purchases lobster or crab bait for other than their own use and then sells the bait as wholesale or retail bait product, and a harvester who sells lobster or crab bait to an individual (s) for personal use as a bait are considered a lobster/crab bait dealer.

Process to Petition for a Prohibited Species

Individual bait dealers may petition the department for an exemption to import and sell a prohibited species provided they follow specific procedures deemed sufficient to remediate the risks associated with the bait source. Risks will vary by species and location, and procedures necessary for sufficient risk reduction (e.g. chain of custody, testing, processing) will be evaluated by the department on a case by case basis.

You may petition to sell a prohibited species by completing the "Lobster and Crab Bait Review/Petition Form" below.

Request Form for Review of a New Bait

Individuals may request the review of a new, non-listed, bait source at any time by filling out the "Lobster and Crab Bait Review Form" below.

Annual Review Form

Chapter 25.11 of DMR regulations require lobster and crab bait dealers to develop a list of baits sold the previous year and baits they plan to sell the following year by February 1 annually.