NOTICE TO HALIBUT FISHERMEN: Please Complete Survey to Provide Input into Potential Fishery Regulations

The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is considering changes to the Atlantic halibut regulations for the 2020 state waters fishery, which begins May 11, 2020. Maine DMR plans to implement measures to achieve a minimum 25 percent reduction in pounds of halibut landed.

Given the current spread of COVID-19, the department has cancelled public meetings, hearings, and scoping sessions until further notice, so DMR is asking industry to provide feedback through this online survey. The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete and we are asking industry to provide feedback by April 22, 2020.

Halibut is regulated by NOAA Fisheries as part of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. It is also subject to requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act which stipulates that halibut landings remain within an allowable catch. If that catch limit is exceeded, the fishery, is subject to management controls, called accountability measures, that prevent catch limits from being exceeded, or correct for overages if they occur. For Atlantic halibut, the accountability measure requires that, if the total Annual Catch Limit is exceeded, any vessel issued a federal permit, including a federal lobster permit, is subject to zero possession of Atlantic halibut in the following fishing year.

A link to the survey can be found here.

Thank you for your time and consideration of these halibut measures. We hope you and your family are staying safe during these challenging times.