Maine Eel Aquaculture Opportunity

Overview:

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), under Addendum IV to the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for American Eel, allows states to submit an aquaculture plan to request up to 200 pounds of glass eels annually from within their waters for domestic aquaculture facilities if certain criteria are met. The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) would like to support a Maine based aquaculture business or businesses that may be interested in utilizing this quota. DMR is seeking qualified applicants to work with the State to both acquire and utilize this quota should it be approved by ASMFC. The following describes the process for which a qualified business or businesses may be selected for this opportunity and the expectations for selected applicant(s) and the Department in advancing a plan.

Proposal Submittal:

Proposals must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. local time, on April 30th. Proposals received after 4pm on this date will be rejected. Proposals should be delivered to Amy Sinclair, Maine Department of Marine Resources by hand (Marquardt Building, 32 Blossom Lane, Augusta) or mail (21 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333-0021) OR sent electronically to Amy.Sinclair@maine.gov.

Proposal Descriptions: Proposals should include the following information

• Name and Address of Business

• Contact person, phone number and email address

• Documentation of any prior approval of any applicable permits for housing, handling, and selling eels

• Description of the facility, including the location in Maine, capacity of the facility in which the glass eels will be held, and a description of the husbandry methods that will be used (Only facilities that are proposed to be or are currently located in the State of Maine are eligible for this opportunity)

• A short description of the markets the eels will be distributed to

• A resume of the applicant demonstrating academic qualifications and/or other experience in the aquaculture of freshwater fish

• Pounds of glass eels requested

• Availability to assist DMR in developing Maine's Aquaculture Plan for American eel required for submittal to ASMFC by June 1st

Proposals should be brief but there is no page limit. Please feel free to provide attachments including business plans, resumes, or other pertinent information.

An example of the level of detail that will be required to develop Maines Aquaculture Plan for American eel from ASMFC (PDF file, 28 pages, 1.6 MB)

Applicant Selection:

An applicant or applicants will be selected to participate in this process based on an expert review panel of DMR employees. Criteria to be considered by reviewers include demonstrated aquaculture qualifications, business maturity and facility readiness, permits and regulatory compliance expectations, and ability to assist DMR in finalizing a proposal to ASMFC. Since there is no direct financial arrangement or contract between DMR and the applicant, costs will not be considered.

Expectations:

The expectation is that the State of Maine and the selected applicant(s) would develop Maines Aquaculture Plan for American eel, to be submitted for review by the ASMFC American Eel Technical Committee (TC), the ASMFC Law Enforcement Committee, and the ASMFC Eel Management Board. Aquaculture Plans, submitted by the Department and qualified applicants, must be submitted by June 1 of the preceding fishing year and approval will be determined by the Board by September 1. If approval is granted, the aquaculture business or businesses would be granted quota for approved fisheries under the terms and conditions of ASMFC and the Department, as early as March 2020. The method of allocation and arrangement will be determined upon approval of the quota. The applicant will not be the harvester unless already approved to be so. Approval of a request for this quota does not guarantee approval of a request in future years. While DMR intends on submitting a plan, DMR has no obligations to do so under this arrangement. It is important to note that this will be an annual process and while a single entity may be granted a full allocation in year one, in subsequent years other applications many be accepted. In this situation, the total allocation, if approved by ASMFC, would be shared among those chosen.

Questions:

Any clarifying questions must be submitted in writing to: Amy.Sinclair@maine.gov by April 19, 2019. DMR will make the questions and answers available on its website by April 24th, 2019. Only questions submitted in writing will be answered.