Menhaden Episodic Event Fishery Opens July 15, 2019

The menhaden fishery will resume under the episodic event set aside program. The quota for the EESA is 1% of the 216,000 mt coastwide TAC, which equates to approximately 4.7 million pounds.

The Department requested participation in the Episodic Events Set Aside Program under Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden and has been granted approval from ASMFC. Upon evaluation of bait storage, harvesting capacity, and demand by the lobster fishery, the Department has determined that it will take emergency action to re-open the fishery with amended effort restrictions. The weekly allowance will be reduced from 4 trucks to 3 trucks; the harvest schedule will remain the same at 4 days per week.

A final notice will be posted on Friday with the emergency regulation along with details on the characteristics of the menhaden fishery as it looks now in Maine state waters and the general plan for the remainder of the season. Please note that the Atlantic herring fishery (mobile) also opens on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at 6 pm.

Required effort restrictions while harvesting the episodic event fishery program are:

Harvest may occur between 12:01 a.m. Monday through to Thursday 11:59 p.m.;

Harvesting and landing of menhaden is restricted to Maine state waters; and,

Daily and weekly landing limit is 120,000 lbs;

Daily reporting of landings is required via menhaden.dmr@maine.gov

The Commissioner would like to remind you that:

You must report your catch daily to ensure we have the proper information to monitor our quota. Failure to do so will result in closing the fishery very early and may also result in a license suspension.

DMR received several reports of fish being dumped. Make sure you have markets for your catch BEFORE setting on menhaden. This waste of the menhaden is bad for the industry and the resource itself; it will not be tolerated.

SMALL SCALE FISHERY
There has been many questions and requests pertaining to the small scale (17 barrel) fishery and why it wasn't open during the quota fishery shut-down. The Fishery Management Plan states that the small scale/incidental fishery may occur once all avenues for a quota monitored fishery are exhausted. For the 2019 fishing year, we have yet to partake in the episodic quota and the Commissioner also has potential quota transfers of up to 3.5 million pounds arranged for further harvesting if needed. When all quota has been used, the small scale fishery will be opened for the remainder of the season.

Questions regarding the operations of the fishery may be directed to your local patrol officer. For patrol's contact information, please click here.

Division I Head: Lieutenant Daniel White - 633-9596, 592-1260 (cell)