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.
Department of Marine Resources