Final Rulemaking: Chapter 41 Atlantic Menhaden effective March 19, 2024; Application period for Partnerships OPEN

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Maine Department of Marine Resources has completed rulemaking for Chapter 41 Atlantic Menhaden. The final rule is available on our website and the updated regulation is available within the Chapters page.



  • Atlantic Menhaden Fishery Season - May 1 through November 30
    • Non-commercial fishery begins May 1, 2024
    • Pound net operators may begin June 1, 2024, with incidental catch limit of 1,050 pounds
    • Commercial fishery begins Monday, June 17, 2024
  • Designated Partnership Agreements:  A pair of harvesters may form a harvest partnership under rules specified in Section 41.06. Application form must be filled out completely by both license holders and submitted prior to May 31, 2024 for approval to Ensure that your mailing address in LEEDS is current. Approval letters will be mailed as applications are processed. 


Chapter 41 Atlantic Menhaden

BRIEF SUMMARY: This rulemaking establishes limitations for the 2024 menhaden season. It establishes an annual end date for the fishery of November 30. It creates a new program in which two commercial menhaden license holders may enter into a Designated Partnership Agreement, which will allow either vessel to remove fish from a purse seine that has been set by one of the vessels in the Designated Partnership Agreement. A definition is provided for “fish box” or “tank” so that harvesters may use fish boxes or tanks to meet the requirement to store fish upon harvest. It clarifies that reporting requirements apply to all fish landed or retained. It creates an incidental bycatch limit of 1,050 lbs for individuals operating a pound net or fish weir during periods when the commercial menhaden fishery is paused by the Commissioner or when the commercial fishery is closed prior to the opening of the Episodic Event Set Aside Program. It amends the weekly limit for the State Allocated Fishery from 18,000 pounds to 17,850 pounds and amends the Small Scale Fishery daily limit from 6,000 to 5,950 pounds. The fishing and landing days for the Episodic Event Set Aside Program are proposed to be Monday and Thursday and the daily limit is increased from 6,000 lbs to 7,000 lbs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Tuesday, March 19, 2024