MCCF Monthly
October 2020
Celebrating Maine seafood has always been a vital part of MCCF's mission. October is National Seafood Month and we encourage you to continue
enjoying sustainably harvested seafood whether you're local to the coast,
a summer-time visitor, or someone who just recently experienced a taste
of Maine. When you purchase local seafood, not only are you supporting
the local economy, but you're also supporting fishermen, and other
industry-related businesses. Looking to try a new seafood chowder
recipe or learn how to cook lobsters at home? Leroy of Ask Leroy!
has you covered and is ready to help you celebrate your favorite seafood.

In this edition of MCCF Monthly, we're sharing two bits of good news for Maine's commercial fishing industry. Fishermen are now eligible to apply
for financial relief through the recently announced Seafood Tariff Relief Program. In other news, Maine fishermen harvesting scallops in federal
waters received a long-awaited win in improved management of the
valuable species and continued access for its small-boat fleet.
Maine Federally Permitted Scallop
Day Boats Retain Access to Scallop Beds
The New England Fishery Management Council held a virtual meeting earlier this month where they voted in favor of regulations that protect both the scallop resource and northern New England day-boat scallop fishermen. MCCF and several other organizations submitted comments to the Council requesting support for regulations that ensure smaller boats from Maine will have preferential access to the scallop grounds in the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) federal scallop area. This is a bountiful area for scallops just beyond Maine state waters. Permit holders for this area, along with the general category boats, will have sole access to the first 800,000 pounds of each year’s allowable quota. This is a significant win for Maine boats participating in the NGOM fishery, given that recent stock assessments have set allowable catches in the range of 200,000 – 300,000 pounds! As the scallop stock replenishes in this part of federal waters, small boats homeported in Maine will not have to compete with the much larger and heavily capitalized individual fishing quota fleet when the inshore state scallop season closes in April. This ensures boats an opportunity to diversify their year’s fishing portfolio with a few extra months of scalloping until they switch to lobstering in June/July.
Seafood Industry Included
in Tariff Relief Program
Commercial fisherman who experienced financial loss caused by seafood tariffs associated with the U.S. and China trade war are now eligible to apply for relief. Last month the Department of Agriculture announced the nationwide Seafood Trade Relief Program, “intended to compensate fishermen for loss resulting from retaliatory tariffs.” For Maine fishermen, the welcomed relief is based on a species-specific amount for every pound landed in 2019. That can mean anywhere from 4 cents per pound (herring) to 50 cents per pound (lobster) depending on the eligible species landed.

It is important to note that this assistance is only available for qualified fishermen who have a valid federal or state license to harvest seafood and sell their catch to a licensed seafood dealer. While payments will not need to be repaid and there is no cost to apply, the payment will be considered taxable income.

Fishermen have until the 14th of December to apply and can submit an application through their local USDA Service Center. To find your local service center, review the application paperwork, and view the rate list based on specific species, please visit the USDA website. For immediate assistance and to speak with someone from the USDA directly, please call 877.508.8364.
Upcoming Events
Online Lunch & Learn
Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management:
A New Approach in Eastern Maine through the
Eastern Maine Coastal Current Collaborative

Join MCCF's Chief Scientist, Dr. Carla Guenther, on Friday, October 30 at 12:30 pm, as she presents on the Eastern Maine Coastal Current Collaborative (EM3C), a partnership between MCCF, NOAA and Maine DMR to explore ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in eastern Maine. This presentation will be moderated by MCCF's Executive Director, Paul Anderson, with panelist Carl Wilson, Science Director, at the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Talk is free to the public, but registration is required.
Collaborative Lobster Research Webinar Series

Maine Sea Grant, the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and the University of Maine's Lobster Institute will host a series of online talks focusing on collaborative research efforts in the lobster industry.
The full list of speakers and how to register can be viewed here.

A Retrospective Look at Collaborative Research in Maine
Wednesday, October 28 at 6:30 pm
Presenters include Dr. Bob Steneck, Professor at the University of Maine's School of Marine Sciences and MCCF Board Member

Maximizing Value by Identifying Stressors in the Supply Chain
Thursday, November 19 at 7:00 pm

The Lobster and Jonah Crab Fleet:
A Unique Partnership Between Lobstermen and Scientists
Wednesday, December 2 at 7:00 pm
Be inspired. Fish forever.
Every day, Maine fishermen are working in unpredictable elements to bring fresh seafood to the tables of many. Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries continues efforts to secure a sustainable future for fisheries and fishing communities in Eastern Maine and beyond. We are taking collective actions that include the knowledge of fishermen, the findings of scientists and partnerships with regulatory authorities, at all levels, to make sure we can
keep fishing alive for today and for tomorrow’s fishery stewards.

We know that these are unprecedented times. If you are able to give,
please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

Together we can fish forever.