Several areas in Maine are not organized and governed by local townships. For a list and map of the unorganized and deorganized areas in Maine, see the sources listed below. Human activities in these unorganized areas, such as land use and forestry, are regulated by state agencies, including the State of Maine Land Use Regulation Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection, which are described below.
List of names: Maine Revenue Services 2003a
Map: Maine Revenue Services 2003b
NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBAL GOVERNMENT
The term for Native Americans in Maine is the Wabanaki People. The Wabanaki include representatives from four tribes: the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Washington County, the Penobscot Indian Nation based at Indian Island on the Penobscot River, the Houlton Band of Maliseets, and the Aroostook Band. The relationship between the Penobscot Nation and the State of Maine is governed by a federal act, the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 and a state act, an Act to Implement the Maine Indian Claims Settlement (Chapter 732 of Maine public laws of 1979). The federal settlement act allowed both the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the
Penobscot Nation to reacquire land. It recognized the applicability of state laws to the tribes and to Indian people, lands, and resources except where otherwise provided in the act. The settlement act provided federal recognition for the Houlton Band of Maliseets but did not define a special relationship with the state of Maine. Also, the act did not include the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, nor did it include the Maliseet People who were not members of the Houlton Band. In late 1991, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs won federal recognition.
Pursuant to the federal and Maine settlement acts, the Penobscot Nation reservation encompasses the islands and related water and fishing rights within the Penobscot River from Indian Island, near Old Town, Maine, northward. The tribe has exclusive jurisdiction over “internal tribal matters,” but those matters are not clearly defined. Recognition of reservations as entities with extraordinary municipal rights and responsibilities is also included in these acts. The Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC), an independent commission made up of tribal and state representatives, has exclusive authority to promulgate regulations governing fishing within any section of a river both sides of which are within the reservation or trust lands (lands owned by the United States and held in trust for the tribe).
The Penobscot Nation has exclusive authority within its reservation to regulate sustenance fishing by tribal members, and sustenance fishing is a reserved right under the terms of the settlement acts. However, the capacity of the Penobscot Nation to fully exercise its sustenance fishing rights has been constrained in recent years by pollution of the Penobscot River by Lincoln Pulp and Paper Company (Bisulca 1996).
The findings of the Task Force on Tribal-State Relations (1997) examined the attitudes and concerns related to the settlement act and found that tribal members generally do not think the settlement act works. The complaints recorded in the report include a complaint by the director of natural resources of the Penobscot Nation about the settlement act and its use by the attorney general to claim that the Penobscot cannot take salmon from the river. The Task Force Report recommends that the state, the tribes and the MITSC treat the act as an “organic and living” document. It notes that over time, changes have taken place, including the development of cooperative law enforcement, fish and game, and environmental agreements.
Sources: Bisulca 1996; Department of the Secretary of State 2002; DIFW 2002a; Kaign Smith, Counsel for Penobscot Nation, personal communication, April 7, 2003; MRDC 2002
STATE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission (MASC)
In 1945, the Maine legislature created a single administrative unit with authority to manage Atlantic salmon in freshwater and saltwater. The Atlantic Sea Run Salmon Commission was superseded by the Atlantic Salmon Authority in 1995 and by the current Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission (MASC) in 1999. Its purpose is to protect, conserve, restore, manage and enhance Atlantic salmon habitat, populations, and sport fisheries within historical habitat in all (inland and tidal) waters of Maine. Its activities have included surveys of Atlantic salmon habitat; habitat improvement; fish-passage improvements; the elimination of commercial fishing; progressively restrictive sportfishing regulations, culminating in the current prohibition of any recreational fishing for anadromous Atlantic salmon in Maine; and various stocking programs. The commission also conducts research on salmon life histories, population status and trends, stocking methods and practices, effects of natural predation, and studies of migration. The commission’s decades-long database of the results of Carlin tagging helped to document the high exploitation rates of Maine salmon in distant-water commercial fisheries. Current management strategies and progress are provided in the Conservation Plan for Seven Maine Rivers (Maine Atlantic Salmon Task Force 1997) as well as MASC’s updates of the plan, reports to the Maine legislature, and other documents.
Sources: MASC 2002, Maine Atlantic Salmon Task Force 1997
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW)
The DIFW regulates recreational fishing and boating and monitors and investigates salmon health problems in aquaculture facilities. More generally, DIFW is responsible for establishing and enforcing the rules and regulations that govern fishing, propagation and stocking of fish, registration of watercraft and all terrain vehicles, and issuing of licenses (hunting, fishing, trapping, guide, etc.) and permits. The DIFW enforce the rules adopted by the MASC. The Department’s Bureaus of Resource Management and of Warden Service (the enforcement arm of the department), execute these responsibilities. In addition, the DIFW operates the Fish Health Laboratory, and monitors and investigates fish health problems such as infectious salmon anemia (ISA), a viral disease of farmed Atlantic salmon.
Sources: DIFW 2002b,c,d,e; 2003a,b
Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR)
The DMR regulates marine aquaculture operations, marine fisheries, and recreational boating and operates programs for research and monitoring of living marine resources. For salmon aquaculture, DMR issues permits for aquaculture sites, enforces the Aquaculture Lease Law, administers the Finfish Aquaculture Monitoring Program (FAMP), and monitors for toxic contaminants under and in net-pens. For fisheries, DMR issues fishing licenses, enforces saltwater fishing laws and regulations, and operates research and habitat conservation programs.
DMR bears the statutory responsibility, among others, to conduct and sponsor scientific research on marine resources, to conserve and develop the utilization of marine and estuarine resources, and to restore diadromous fish resources to the rivers of Maine; to protect public health by ensuring sanitation of shellfish harvesting areas, harvesting, processing, and distribution; and to provide education and outreach. The DMR’s Bureau of Marine Patrol enforces marine fisheries laws, boating registration laws, and safety laws, and conducts search and rescue operations on coastal waters. The DMR’s Bureau of Resource Management conducts research and monitoring programs to support efforts to conserve, restore and manage the marine and estuarine resources of the state.1
Sources: DMR 2001, 2002; Fisk 2002
Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) (Bureau of Land and Water Quality)
Several state statutes provide the DEP with the authority to govern a wide range of human activities, including hydropower and dams, natural resource protection, shoreline zoning, site development, erosion and sedimentation control, wastewater discharge, and others. The principal governance actions involve issuing permits and enforcing standards that apply to these activities. With respect to hydropower projects, the DEP, in cooperation with the Land Use Regulatory Commission (LURC), issues permits for the construction, reconstruction or the structural alteration of a hydropower project and enforces state laws concerning unapproved hydropower projects. With respect to salmon aquaculture, the DEP tests water for effluent quality from aquaculture sites and issues permits as
part of the Maine Pollution Discharge Elimination System (MPDES). In addition, the DEP issues permits for activities on land adjacent to any freshwater wetland, great pond, river, stream, or brook that could wash harmful material into these resources. In addition, the DEP operates programs to monitor water quality (groundwater, lakes and streams, and coastal waters).
Sources: DEP 1996a,b,c; 2000; 2003
Land Use Regulatory Commission (LURC) (Department of Conservation)
In addition to the regulation of hydropower projects, the LURC regulates land use in the state’s townships, plantations, and unorganized areas. Its objectives are to preserve public health, safety, and welfare; to encourage the well-planned, multiple uses of natural resources; to promote orderly development; and to protect natural and ecological values using land-use planning and zoning tools. One of LURC’s important objectives is to protect groundwater in order to conserve important fish and wildlife habitats. The LURC issues permits for construction of roads and bridges, and sets standards for several uses of land (roads, agriculture, timber harvesting, filling and grading, applications of pesticides, etc.) and for the cutting of trees near water bodies.
Sources: LURC 2000a,b; 2001; 2002a,b
Maine Forest Service (MFS) (Department of Conservation)
The principal responsibilities of the MFS are to protect the state’s forest resources from fire, disease, and pests. In addition, MFS aims to enhance forest resources through technical assistance; education; and outreach to the public, forest landowners, forest products processors and marketers, and municipalities. MFS encourages forest landowners to use the services of a consulting forester to help implement forest management projects on their woodlot.
Sources: MFS 2002a,b,c,d
Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC)
The MPUC has jurisdiction over water utilities, electric utilities, water carriers, gas utilities, telephone utilities, and resellers of telephone services. It is responsible for the enforcement of all state laws that apply to
public utilities, such as hydropower dams. However, the MPUC shares these responsibilities with the DEP and the LURC, the two agencies that issue permits for the construction, reconstruction or the structural alteration of a hydropower project and enforces state laws concerning unapproved hydropower projects. Most hydropower dams are subject to regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Licenses are issued for waterpower projects for up to 50 years; at expiration, a dam may be relicensed or taken over by the federal government.
Source: MPUC 2001
Maine Department of Transportation (DOT)
The DOT is responsible for designing, building and maintaining many of the roads, highways and bridges in the state. It is also the main oversight agency for projects involving roads, railroads and associated facilities. The Maine DOT has developed a framework for integrating environmental and transportation decision making throughout the department. The framework interfaces planning, location, design, right-of-way, construction, maintenance, and environmental operations by fully integrating the decision-making processes of Maine’s Sensible Transportation Policy Act (STPA); the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); and state and federal environmental permitting programs, especially the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (New England District) highway methodology (USACE 1993). Maine DOT has also developed the Fish Passage Policy and Design Guide, issued in March 2002.
The DOT restores habitat by addressing nonpoint source pollution associated with transportation facilities located in salmon watersheds. Maine DOT provides technical assistance to maintenance crews in salmon watersheds to implement erosion and sedimentation best management practices. It has also developed detailed geographic information systems (GIS)-based watershed maps identifying all DOT owned and operated facilities as a tool for workers to easily identify critical areas.
Sources: MDOT 2002a,b; 2003
Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
The Maine Department of Agriculture regulates the use of pesticides and implements pest management and soil and water management programs.
Source: Maine Department of Agriculture 2002
Maine State Planning Office
In general, the Maine State Planning Office provides information, analysis, and guidance to policy makers about Maine’s economy, resources, and governance. The duties of the State Planning Office include coordinating the development of the state’s economy and energy resources with the conservation of its natural resources; providing technical assistance to the governor and legislature by undertaking special studies and plans and preparing policy alternatives; providing technical assistance to local and regional planning groups; and conducting continuing economic analysis.
Source: Maine State Planning Office 2003
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS, U. S. Department of the Interior)
The FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) share responsibility for administration of the Endangered Species Act. The FWS implements ESA (ESA) programs and regulations for terrestrial and freshwater species, while NMFS implements programs and regulations for marine and anadromous species.
In general, the FWS operates programs to protect and restore fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. The FWS manages over 500 national wildlife refuges, and operates the National Fish Hatchery System, which consists of 70 fish hatcheries, 7 fish technology centers, and 9 fish health centers. The hatcheries are part of an effort to recover endangered species and restore native aquatic populations. In Maine, the FWS operates two national fish hatcheries, Craig Brook and Green Lake.
The FWS investigates, evaluates, and makes recommendations on permit and license activities of several federal agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. Forest Service. In addition, the FWS enforces federal wildlife laws.
Sources: FWS 1998; 2003a,b,c.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce)
The NMFS Office of Protected Resources is charged with the implementation of the ESA for marine and anadromous species. The NMFS
develops, implements, and administers programs for the protection, conservation, and recovery of species protected under the ESA. The Office of Protected Resources also develops and implements policies, procedures, and regulations for permits to take listed species according to the ESA. In addition, the NMFS establishes cooperative agreements with states regarding listed species management and protection and identifies endangered species research needs to collect appropriate information for management decisions. The NMFS and FWS share responsibilities for listing endangered species and approving recovery plans for listed species under the ESA. The NMFS is primarily responsible for recovery actions in the marine environment, and the FWS is primarily responsible for recovery actions in the terrestrial environment.
In addition, the NMFS implements marine fishery management plans that have been approved by the Secretary of Commerce. This includes the fishery management plan for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), which was implemented by the NMFS on March 17, 1988. This fish management plan established explicit U.S. management authority over all Atlantic salmon of U.S. origin to complement state management programs in coastal and inland waters and federal management authority over salmon on the high seas conferred as a signatory nation to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). The fish management plan disallows any commercial fishery for Atlantic salmon, directed or incidental, in federal waters (3–200 miles) and prohibits the possession of Atlantic salmon taken from federal waters.
Through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996, the NMFS has regulatory responsibilities that affect aquaculture development in the Exclusive Economic Zone. The fishery management councils are involved in the decision-making process for offshore aquaculture permits. To date, this process has included granting a lease to an experimental scallop culture project off the coast of Massachusetts through an amendment to the New England Scallop Fishery Management Plan and consideration of an experimental permit for the culture of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.
The NMFS promotes aquaculture through scientific research and technology development, financial assistance, and its regulatory programs. The NMFS’ basic research on finfish and shellfish biology and reproduction, habitat utilization and restoration, environmental impact assessment, and fish pathology supports private and government aquaculture and marine enhancement activities. The NMFS has also played an integral role in the rearing of threatened and protected species for stock recovery.
Sources: Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (1996); NMFS 1998, 2000a, 2002
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA works in Maine with federal, state, regional, and local partners to protect and restore Maine’s environment and protect human health. The primary state partners of The EPA are the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) and the Maine Department of Health Services (MDHS). The EPA provides environmental and public heath protection assistance as well as over $9 million annually of financial support for air, water, and waste programs at the MDEP; drinking water protection by the MDHS; and monitoring, protection, and restoration efforts for the Casco Bay Estuary Project.
The EPA has funded a $1.9 million cooperative agreement with the Gulf of Maine Council. The project will coordinate, encourage, and support cooperative efforts to protect and sustain regionally significant Gulf of Maine coastal and marine habitats. The funds will support pilot projects to identify and conserve regionally significant habitats; a Gulf-wide monitoring program; a marine debris reduction program; a coastal citizen monitoring network; workshops on shellfish habitat restoration techniques; community surveys on the spawning and juvenile habitat areas of commercial fish stocks; and the production of various public education and outreach materials.
The EPA enforces the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which involves the review and approval of pesticide products and labeling through a pesticide registration process. In this role, the EPA indirectly and directly affects Atlantic salmon farming and agriculture operations. For example, the EPA is responsible for approving and regulating the use of pesticides around, and for monitoring the effluent quality from, aquaculture facilities.
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, the EPA establishes wastewater standards for industry water-quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters, monitoring of water-quality discharged from site. The EPA has also established management procedures for the protection of surface water quality and in-stream and riparian habitat. The state of Maine applies these management procedures to dam operations and sites near water bodies that require development permits.
Sources: Brennan 1999; EPA 2002b; 2003a,b,c,d,e,f
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Under the Rivers and Harbors Act and the Clean Water Act, the USACE has the authority to regulate activities in navigable waterways, including authority over dredging and filling of waterways and authority
to issue permits for dams and dikes to be placed in interstate waterways. Although not mandatory, the USACE also has developed criteria for safe operation of hydropower projects and dams that have been widely adopted by privately operated projects throughout the United States. Based on its authority to regulate activities in navigable waterways, the USACE regulates the location of aquaculture pens.
The USACE also enforces regulations that require the installation of suitable culverts and bridges, designed to withstand and prevent restriction of high flows and maintain existing low flows, for roads that cross bodies of water. Roads and bridges should not obstruct the movement of aquatic life indigenous to the water body beyond the actual duration of construction.
Sources: USACE 2002; 33 CFR 321
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides agricultural producers with services for protecting the health of animals and plants. The APHIS programs currently serve both plant and animal aquaculture, especially those aspects involving disease, pest prevention, and wildlife damage management. The APHIS also has become involved in facilitating the importation and exportation of aquaculture products. The APHIS provides diagnostic assistance to aquaculture producers on diseases afflicting aquaculture species, disseminates information on how to meet the aquaculture industry’s animal health needs, endorses animal health certifications for the export of live aquatic species and their products; and develops aquatic animal health monitoring and surveillance programs. The APHIS investigates consumer complaints regarding biologics used in aquaculture, and tests fish biologics at APHIS’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories. In addition, APHIS provides funds for “payment of indemnity”’ to producers in Maine for the salmon destroyed in the effort to control outbreaks of infectious salmon anemia.2
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) operates the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), a voluntary program for individuals who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private land. Through WHIP, USDA’s NRCS provides both technical
assistance and up to 75% cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat.
The NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local authorities for projects to rehabilitate or remove aging dams. Rehabilitation projects may be cost shared between the federal government and local sponsors. The NRCS provides 65% of the total cost of a rehabilitation project. Local sponsors can provide the remaining 35% through “in kind” costs for the value of land rights, project administration, and other planning and implementation costs associated with the project.
The Small Watershed Program (SWP) assists federal, state, and local agencies; local government sponsors; tribal governments; and program participants to protect watersheds from damage caused by erosion, floodwater, and sediment; to conserve and develop water and land resources; and to solve natural resource and related economic problems on a watershed basis. The SWP addresses problems of watershed protection; erosion and sediment control; water supply; water quality; wetland and water storage capacity; water needs for fish, wildlife, and forest-based industries; fish and wildlife habitat enhancement; wetlands creation and restoration; and public recreation in watersheds of 250,000 or fewer acres. The program provides both technical and financial assistance.
In addition, the NRCS administers the Forestry Incentives Program (FIP) jointly with the Forest Service. The FIP supports good forest management practices on privately owned, nonindustrial forestlands nationwide. FIP is designed to benefit the environment while meeting future demands for wood products. Eligible practices are tree planting, timber stand improvement, site preparation for natural regeneration, and other related activities. The FIP was originally authorized in 1978 to share up to 65% of the costs of tree planting, timber stand improvements, and related practices on nonindustrial private forestlands. FIP’s forest maintenance and reforestation practices provide numerous natural resource benefits, including reducing wind and soil erosion, enhancing water quality and wildlife habitat, and helping to assure a reliable future supply of timber.
The Stewardship Incentive Program (SIP) provides technical and financial assistance to encourage nonindustrial private forest landowners to keep their lands and natural resources productive and healthy. Qualifying land includes rural lands with existing tree cover or land suitable for growing trees that is owned by a private individual, group, association, corporation, Indian tribe, or other legal private entity. Eligible landowners must have an approved FIP and own 1,000 or fewer acres of qualifying land.
Sources: AMS 2003; APHIS 2002, 2003; FSIS 2001; NRCS 2003; RMA 2003; USDA 2003a,b,c,d,e
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
FDA is the principal regulatory agency responsible for the safety of the nation’s domestically produced and imported foods, cosmetics, drugs, biologics, medical devices, and radiological products. FDA’s authority extends to all domestic and imported food with the following exceptions. Meat; poultry; and frozen, dried, and liquid eggs are under the authority of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes tolerances for pesticide residues in foods and ensures the safety of drinking water. FDA regulates the production and distribution of cultivated salmon and therefore indirectly affects the nature and extent of Atlantic salmon aquaculture in Maine.
FDA regulates seafood, including farm salmon. FDA operates an oversight compliance program for fishery products related to the product’s safety, wholesomeness, identity, and economic integrity. FDA conducts both mandatory surveillance and enforcement inspections of domestic seafood harvesters, growers, wholesalers, warehouses, carriers, and processors under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. FDA conducts in-plant inspections of product safety and plant/food hygiene. There are FDA laboratories to analyze samples taken by its investigators. Further, FDA has the authority to set tolerances in food for artificial contaminants, except for pesticides, which are set by EPA. FDA regulates the use of food and color additives in seafood and feed additives and drugs in aquaculture. Finally, FDA has stated that it intends to regulate transgenic fish (and other transgenic animals) under the new animal drug provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (NRC 2002c).
FDA operates two additional regulatory programs directed specifically at seafood—the Salmon Control Plan and the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP), recently augmented by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC). These are voluntary programs involving the individual states and the industry. The Salmon Control Plan is a voluntary, cooperative program among the industry, FDA, and the National Food Processors Association (NFPA). The plan is designed to provide control over processing and plant sanitation and to address concerns about decomposition in the salmon canning industry
FDA conducts research in support of its seafood program. This research is directed to understanding the nature and degree of severity posed by various safety hazards, and other defects that may affect quality and economic integrity. Research also finds means to detect and to control these identified hazards. FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, through its Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, works with govern-
ment agencies and aquaculture associations to increase the number of safe and effective drugs that can be used by the aquaculture industry.
Sources: CVM 1999, 2002; FDA 1990, 2001, 2003; Hoskin 1993; NRC 2002c
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Under the Federal Power Act, FERC is authorized to issue licenses authorizing construction of a hydropower facility and continuance of existing projects. FERC issues preliminary permits for up to 3 years and authorizes developers to perform feasibility studies while maintaining priority to apply for a future license. FERC issues licenses for a period of up to 50 years after the review of engineering, environmental, and economic aspects of the proposal. In issuing a license, FERC is supposed to equally consider developmental and environmental values, including, for example, hydroelectric development and fish and wildlife resources (including their spawning grounds and habitat). By statute, FERC must require provisions in licenses to “protect, mitigate damage to, and enhance fish and wildlife (and their habitats)…” (FPA, section 10(j)). Small hydro plants that are 5 megawatts or less that use an existing dam or that utilize a natural water feature for headwater and existing projects that propose to increase capacity are exempt from FERC licensing. FERC is also responsible for monitoring dam safety.
Source: FERC 2003
U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard is the nation’s maritime law enforcement agency and has broad, multifaceted jurisdictional authority. The Coast Guard enforces fisheries laws at sea, such as the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service. Charged with ensuring a safe, efficient, and effective marine transportation system, the Coast Guard regulates and inspects commercial and private vessels, licenses merchant mariners, manages waterways, and protects the security of America’s ports.
The Coast Guard helps to recover and maintain marine protected species populations. The Coast Guard enforces a wide variety of fishery regulations designed to reduce the bycatch of threatened and endangered species. As part of its mission to manage waterways, the Coast Guard participates in aquaculture leasing permit processes and ensures that offshore structures are not hazards to navigation.
Sources: U.S. Coast Guard 2003a,b,c
Federal Highway Administration (Department of Transportation)
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an operating administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Maine Division of FHWA works in partnership with the Maine DOT metropolitan planning organizations in Bangor, Kittery, Lewiston-Auburn, and Portland.
Source: FHWA 2003
New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC)
The NEFMC is one of eight regional fisheries management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (renamed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act when amended on October 11, 1996). The councils manage the living marine resources within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, an area extending from 3 to 200 miles offshore. The NEFMC’s jurisdiction extends from Maine to southern New England, although some NEFMC-managed species range to the mid-Atlantic.
The council develops management plans that are submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation. The council is tasked with making fisheries management decisions to impose regulations on the fishing industry, which include setting the size of the allowable catch, the length of the fishing season, the allocation of any quotas to states and fishers, and permitting and licensing provisions.
The NEFMC developed the Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) that was implemented by NMFS on March 17, 1988. The plan explicitly established U.S. management authority over all Atlantic salmon of U.S. origin. Specifically, the plan prohibits any commercial fishery for Atlantic salmon, directed or incidental, in federal waters (3–200 miles) and prohibits the possession of Atlantic salmon from federal waters.
Source: NEFMC 2003
Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)
The 15 Atlantic coast states (Maine through Florida, including Pennsylvania) formed the ASMFC in 1942 to assist in managing and conserv-
ing the states’ shared coastal fishery resources. Each of the 15 states is represented on the commission by three commissioners, including the director for the state’s marine fisheries management agency, a state legislator, and an individual representing fishery interests, appointed by the state governor.
The commission initiated its Interstate Fisheries Management Program (ISFMP) in 1981, with a cooperative agreement with the NMFS. The ISFMP aims to promote the cooperative management of marine, estuarine, and anadromous fisheries in state waters of the East Coast through interstate fishery management plans. The major objectives of the ISFMP are to (1) determine the priorities for interjurisdictional fisheries management in coastal state waters; (2) develop, monitor, and review fishery management plans; (3) recommend to states, regional fishery management councils, and the federal government management measures to benefit these fisheries; (4) provide an efficient structure for the timely, cooperative administration of the ISFMP; and (5) monitor compliance with approved fishery management plans.
The species managed under this program are American lobster, American shad and river herring, Atlantic croaker, Atlantic herring, Atlantic menhaden, Atlantic sturgeon, bluefish, northern shrimp, red drum, scup, Spanish mackerel, spot, spotted seatrout, striped bass, summer flounder, tautog, weakfish, and winter flounder. Fishery management plans currently under development include American eel and black sea bass. The fishery management plans impose restrictions on the commercial and recreational catch of the species covered by individual plans. The plans set quotas on catch, minimum sizes of fish that can be landed and sold, and restrict other aspects of fishing. The ASMFC does not have a fishery management plan for Atlantic salmon.
The commission’s Research and Statistics Program coordinates commercial and recreational fisheries data collection programs and is active in the development and implementation of the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program.
To achieve the conservation and improvement of marine fish habitat, the commission ensures that habitat information and needs are specified in fishery management plans and disseminated to the agencies with regulatory authority for habitat. The education portion of the commission’s Habitat Program complements these efforts by also providing this information to fishermen and the general public, along with advice about what individuals can do to protect fish habitat.
The commission’s Sport Fish Restoration Program is aimed at improving fishery conservation and wise utilization of critical sport fisheries resources of the Atlantic. Through this program, the commission acts as a liaison between state and federal agencies and nongovernmental organi-
zations to promote interstate and state and federal cooperation on marine recreational fisheries programs. These activities are coordinated through the Commission’s Sport Fish Restoration Committee to ensure compatibility with, and integration into other programs of the Commission.
The commission’s Law Enforcement Program assists the states in coordinating their law enforcement efforts through data exchange and problem identification. The program provides information on law enforcement issues, brings resolutions addressing enforcement concerns before the commission, coordinates enforcement efforts among states, and monitors the enforcement of measures incorporated into the commission’s interstate fisheries management plans.
Sources: ASMFC 2003, NOAACSC 2003
The principal international organization governing Atlantic salmon is the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO).3 NASCO, established in 1984, aims to contribute to the conservation, restoration, enhancement, and rational management of salmon stocks. There are seven contracting parties to NASCO, including the European Union, and 26 nongovernmental organizations with observer status. NASCO consists of a council, three regional commissions, and a secretariat.
The three regional commissions are the North American Commission, North-East Atlantic Commission, and the West Greenland Commission. The two members of the North American Commission are Canada and the United States; the four members of the West Greenland Commission are Canada, the United States, Denmark, and the European Union. Denmark, the European Union, Iceland, Norway, and the Russian Federation are the members of the Northeast Atlantic Commission.
The North American Commission requires each of its members to implement measures to minimize the bycatch of Atlantic salmon that originate in the rivers of other members. In addition, the commission requires that before a member allows the increase in catches of salmon that originate in the rivers of another party, the member must obtain the consent of that party.
Source: NAFO 2003
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment
Established in 1989 by the region’s governors and premiers, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is an international body that promotes and facilitates cross-border cooperation among government, academic, and private groups. The council aims to develop and implement a sustainable management strategy for the Gulf of Maine, an area that extends from Nantucket through the Bay of Fundy to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. The council’s activities in marine monitoring, habitat protection, public education, and pollution prevention are overseen by public and private representatives from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
The Gulf of Maine council has developed an action plan for the protection and conservation of coastal and marine habitats in the Gulf of Maine. The action plan will guide state, provincial, and federal policy and budgeting decisions affecting the Gulf’s coastal and marine environments. The governors of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire; the premiers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; and six federal agencies with mandates in the marine environment (Environment Canada; the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) have agreed to the action plan. The plan focuses on coastal and marine habitat and has five major goals: (1) protect and restore regionally significant coastal habitats; (2) restore shellfish habitats; (3) protect human health and ecosystem integrity from toxic contaminants in marine habitats; (4) reduce marine debris; and (5) protect and restore fishery habitats and resources.
Source: Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment 2003
NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION SALMON EFFORTS IN MAINE:
Atlantic Salmon Federation—Maine Council
Atlantic Salmon for Northern Maine
Atlantic Salmon Unlimited
Dennys River Sportsman’s Club
Downeast Salmon Federation
Eddington Salmon Club
F.I.S.H. (Facilitators Improving Salmonid Habitat
Fishing In Maine
Friend of the Penobscot
Friends of Craig Brook
Maine Environmental Policy Institute
Marine Environmental Research Institute
Narraguagus Salmon Association
Natural Resources Council of Maine
Northern Penobscot Salmon Club
Penobscot County Association
Penobscot River Coalition
Penobscot Riverkeepers 2000
Penobscot Salmon Club
Pleasant River Fish and Game Conservation Association
Pleasant River Hatchery
Quoddy Regional Land Trust
Saco River Salmon Club
St. Croix International Atlantic Salmon Assoc.
St. Croix International Waterway Commission
Sheepscot River Club
Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association
Trout Unlimited, George’s River Chapter
Trout Unlimited, Kennebec Valley Chapter
Trout Unlimited Maine Council
Trout Unlimited Merrymeeting Bay Chapter
Union Salmon Association
Veazie Salmon Club
Wild Salmon Resource Center
Ducktrap River (Coastal Mountain Land Trust)
East Machias River
Kennebec River (Friends of the Kennebec Salmon)