Precautions Urged for Fishermen and Aquaculturists Ahead of Saturday's Storm

With another storm on the horizon, DMR wants to remind you to take to following precautions:

For Fishermen:

  • Fishermen should consider altering plans to avoid possible hazardous conditions. Remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter course, and/or secure the vessel for severe wind and waves.
  • Exceptionally high tides add another degree of challenge to storm preparations as recently witnessed. To the extent possible fishermen and waterfront property owners should make preparations to secure property for another exceptionally high tide and storm surge event.
  • All parts of moorings (shackles, chain, chain locks, rings, thimbles, swivels and rope) should be inspected to ensure nothing was compromised from the last storm.
  • Docks should be inspected ensuring that cleats, lines, fenders etc. are in working order.
  • Fishermen should not attempt to access their vessels or attempt to haul boats if current conditions make doing so unsafe.
  • Secure electronic position indicating radio beacons. If unsecured, an EPIRB can break free from a boat and trigger an emergency signal to the Coast Guard. Communicate any not emergency activations to the USCG immediately to avoid unnecessary responses by rescuers.
  • Ensure boating gear is properly stowed or tied down to avoid causing unnecessary searches by the Coast Guard and other first responders. Life jackets, life rafts and small non-powered vessels are some examples of boating equipment often found adrift following severe weather.

For Aquaculture Lease and LPA holders: 

  • Make sure you have the proper license: To remove product from an aquaculture site, you must have an aquaculture harvester license. This license can be obtained through the Department’s online licensing portal (LEEDs) or contacting the Licensing Division (linked below).  
  • Tag your product: Be sure that any shellfish product removed from your site is tagged with harvester tags and they are filled out correctly. The Department does not provide harvester tags, so please refer to Chapter 9 of the Department’s regulations for example tags and tagging requirements (linked below) 
  • Check for closures: Heavy rains may cause water quality closures or precautionary closures may be implemented in anticipation of hazardous conditions. Please check for shellfish closures online (linked below) or calling the closure hotline: 1-800-232-4733 or 207-624-7727.  
  • Movement of product:  Moving shellfish product off your site needs to occur before any closures are implemented. Product should be stored in a clean and cool place (preferably in the cooler of a certified shellfish dealer). After the storm, product needs to be moved back to the site it was harvested from and remain submerged at least a week before re-harvest.  
  • After the storm, as soon as it is safe to do so, please make efforts to retrieve any errant gear and return sites to working order in compliance with law and rule.  

Report Damages:

Mainers who have experienced damages as a result of wind and rainstorms are encouraged to report those damages by calling 211 Maine or filling out one of the survey forms below.

  1. Individuals & Households Initial Damage Assessment: Online Survey or PDF form.
  2. Business and Agriculture Initial Damage Assessment: Online Survey

Please note that MEMA's recommendation is to document damages associated with each separate event. Even if infrastructure is damaged multiple times, images, measurements, etc., from each event should be captured to the best of your ability between events. Please take photos and measurements of damages and any temporary or permanent repairs between events.

By reporting damage, you are NOT applying for assistance. This information is to assess damages and will be provided to your town to enable them to learn who has storm-related damages.

Information provided will help the State of Maine estimate the full impact of the storm and unlock the maximum amount of potential Federal support available.

Visit Governor Mills’ online Maine Flood and Assistance Hub for resources and information.

Visit MEMA’s website for up-to-date information on storm preparedness.