Who says Maine's oldest industry can't learn a few new tricks?
MCFA is committed to making sure that Maine's fisheries remain competitive in a world with increasingly complex markets and regulations. Our fishermen and staff are working to bring new technologies and ideas onto the water while preserving the wisdom of generations of Maine fishermen.
In 2010 the New England Fishery Management Council changed the way groundfish fishermen operate by creating the allocation based system called sectors.
MCFA established the Maine Coast Community Sector to to ensure Maine boats had a program focused on their unique needs. To learn more about the sector system check out the MCCS page.
The fishing industry has numerous levels of accountability on it but the most impactful is the need to put observers on their boats to monitor catch.
Working with The Nature Conservancy and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, MCFA has been developing an Electronic Monitoring option that will be replacing these humans with cameras. The hope is that this is a way to reduce the cost of monitoring and give a little relief to the small boat fishermen who don’t have the room to comfortably accommodate additional bodies on their vessels.
While the cost of running a fishing business has increased dramatically over the past 10 years, the value of the fish being landed hasn't kept pace.
MCFA, through the support of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and in Partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, is hoping to increase the value of the fish Maine boats are landing by allowing those buying fish a better understanding of who is catching their dinner and where it is caught.
Working with our partners at The Nature Conservancy, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Island Institute, and Seagrant, MCFA has helped develop and connect fishermen to numerous gear research projects.
These range from using different net configurations to avoid catching certain stocks, to reducing the drag on the boat and nets for better fuel efficiency, to experimenting with jigging machines to help find more selective means of targeting their catch.
If a fisherman has an idea they want to try, we work to find a way to make it happen!