A Message from DMR Commissioner Keliher to Maine's Lobster Industry

Maine DMR is assessing the many challenges associated with the Coronavirus. Despite rumors to the contrary, I do not have any immediate plans to close any commercial fishery in response to the Coronavirus. In particular, it is important to understand that under the existing circumstances, I DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO CLOSE THE LOBSTER FISHERY.

I am monitoring this situation and am receiving thoughts and guidance from all segments of the industry. Many of these recommendations from the industry are in conflict with each other. I am currently evaluating the appropriateness of management actions I am authorized to take within our enabling legislation. I am also working directly with the Governor's office to fully understand what other authorities may - or may not exist. I will remain in constant communication with industry as this situation unfolds.

In the short-term:

• Harvesters and dealers must put aside their differences and must actively communicate with each other about the realities of the market.

• Harvesters must refrain from landing product if there is no market for it.

• Dealers must refrain from buying product for which there is no market in order to minimize loss associated with inventory that cant be sold.

I can't stress enough that all segments of this industry must cooperate in the short-term. You all have the ability to work to help with solutions in the short-term and this Administration will continue to look at other solutions as we move forward.

For the latest updates please visit the Maine CDC's website.

Patrick Keliher
Department of Marine Resources