Notice of Emergency Rulemaking: Ch 41 Menhaden; Modified Harvest Days For State Allocated Fishery

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Notice to Menhaden License holders:

Good morning,

Please be advised of the following emergency amendments to Chapter 41 Menhaden regulations; the full document is available (attached) and on the DMR website.

For the state allocation fishery that will commence on Monday, June 13, 2022 at 12:01 a.m., harvesters may fish for and land menhaden on Mondays and Thursdays only.  Harvest days have been reduced to ensure that the Department can adequately monitor landings to mitigate the risk of an overage in the state allocation fishery. The weekly vessel limit remains the same at 23,800 pounds (or 68 barrels). This amount may be harvested in a single day or spread over the two harvest days. All harvesting and landing of menhaden are restricted to Maine territorial waters and any vessel is restricted to one landing only per calendar day. 

Electronic reporting is still required on the same day as fish are landed to ensure that DMR has the most accurate accounting of the catch as possible. Electronic reporting can be completed through either LEEDS or the VESL electronic harvest reporting application available for iOS and Android devices.  Please note that if you have already signed up to VESL for a different species, you will already have access for reporting menhaden.  Contact (207-633-9566) with questions on electronic reporting.   

If you have not yet purchased your license, please make sure you are purchasing the license that best fits your plans (menhaden commercial or menhaden noncommercial; NOT a Commercial Pelagic) as no further changes of license type will be authorized. 

Under the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (ISFMP) for Atlantic menhaden, Maine is allocated 0.52% of the coastwide Total Allowable Catch (TAC). For the 2022 fishing year, this base allocation for the state directed fishery is 2,194,080 pounds. In previous seasons, Maine has reduced harvest opportunity through either landing days or trip limits to minimize the risk of incurring an overage within the state directed fishery. With the anticipation of additional effort for the 2022 fishing season, it is necessary to reduce open harvest days for the state directed fishery to only Mondays and Thursdays to ensure effective monitoring of the State’s available quota.

The Commissioner has determined that it is necessary to take emergency action to reduce the daily landing limit to prevent unusual damage to the menhaden resource by exceeding available quota. The Commissioner hereby adopts this emergency regulation as authorized by 12 M.R.S. §6171(3)(A).

EFFECTIVE DATE: May 31, 2022