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Cod, haddock, pollock, flounders...

MCFA is giving a  voice to Maine's community-based  groundfish fleet. 

Groundfish is one of the oldest industries in the United States and one of the most complicated. With a new system of management implemented in 2010 that is still struggling to meet it's high expectations, here's what MCFA is doing to help reinvigorate this iconic fishery. 

Follow this link for information about the sector system

Follow this link for information about handgrear permits and the common pool 

Amendment 23

In the fall of 2016, the NEFMC began  Amendment 23 for the Groundfish fishery. The purpose of this Amendment is to improve the reliability and accountability of the Council’s monitoring program. In a press release, Council Executive Director Tom Nies further explained that “The Council, fishermen, and the public recognize the groundfish monitoring program needs improvement. This is the first and best opportunity for people to suggest ways to create a program that will give the accurate, reliable information needed to manage this fishery." 


MCFA believes that accountability in this fishery is crucial to the long-term rebuilding of this fishery and is working at the council to advance a comprehensive amendment. 

Sector Management 

The sector system was established in 2010 by the New England Fishery Management Council. A form of "catch sharing" management, sectors allow fishermen to access the groundfish fishery though limited access permits and quota-based fisheries management. The Maine Coast Fishermen's Association manages the Maine Coast Community Sector which has members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. To learn more about the Maine Coast Community Sector visit our sector page. 

Camera Monitoring 

In 2013, MCFA along with The Nature Conservancy, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and Ecotrust Canada embarked on a three-year pilot project to further the development of electronic monitoring (EM) in the New England groundfish fishery. The overarching goal of the project was to determine if EM technology could be used to collect information on catch and discards that is comparable to existing monitoring and reporting programs in a cost-effective manner.

Building on the success of this project, in 2016, NMFS’ approved an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) that authorizes fishermen in groundfish sectors from Maine, Mass, NH, and RI to utilize EM systems in lieu of human monitors. Currently almost 30 fishermen are participating in the program 

Jigging in Maine

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Rules and Regulations for Fishermen

There are lots of rules and regulations the are required to go commercial fishing in federal waters. Here are helpful fact sheets and information for some of the most common questions we get asked about fishing in the common pool, using open access handgear permits, or fishing in the sector. 

Groundfish Rules and Regulations
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