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Maine Evaluates Options for Lobster Licensing

Oct 12, 2012
Fall 2012

The question of who should be able to get a lobster license has long been a source of heated discussion in Maine.

GMRI is currently conducting an objective review to examine the efficacy of the state's limited-entry licensing system and explore alternative solutions. The project was commissioned through a competitive process held by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) at the direction of the state legislature.

"Every aspect of the project is focused on Maine and the needs of our local communities," said John Annala, GMRI Chief Scientific Officer, "but we're drawing on our experience with international fisheries management solutions, resource economics, and marine ecosystem sustainability."

Throughout the summer, GMRI held a series of public meetings to understand the concerns of affected communities and also conducted a confidential written survey of more than 7,000 individuals.

"As I have traveled to these meetings, I have been struck by the willingness of people to come out and share their insights," said Alexa Dayton, manager of the project. "Hearing so many different perspectives on this issue has reminded me of the value of having a neutral third party who can ensure all voices are heard."

The final report will be submitted by GMRI on Nov. 1 and will outline options for the legislature to review in January 2013.