The Maine Marine Patrol is the oldest law enforcement organization in the State of Maine. It's roots can be traced directly to 1867, when the legislature authorized two Fisheries Commissioners who were charged with the conservation of sea-run fish species on a statewide basis. Before then, county fish commissions hired wardens and towns hired inspectors of fish to check on the commercial fishing industries of the day.
The Fish Commissioners became the Fish and Game Commission in 1880, but were split in 1895 to form the Fish and Game Commission and the Sea and Shore Fisheries Commission. "Fish Wardens" were employed to oversee all coastal and riverine fisheries and numbered about twenty-three at the turn of the century. The Commission was changed to the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries in 1931, and the "Fish Warden" was changed to "Coastal Warden" in 1947. This designation stayed the same until 1973 when the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries became the Department of Marine Resources. In 1978, the name "Coastal Warden" was changed to the current "Marine Patrol Officer."
Today's Marine Patrol Officer is a highly trained law enforcement officer who is certified by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. The Officer is capable of enforcing any of the state's laws and is held to the highest of standards. The officer is also instilled with the same philosophy that the warden of 100 years ago used in their enforcement efforts, which is to be impartial and to work in the closest cooperation with the fishermen. The officer is a friend of the fisherman and is interested in his/her welfare.