ELLSWORTH — Grant funds continue to flow into the Maine commercial lobster fishery on the heels of $2 million research grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative announced in September. NOAA is also behind these awards directed at monitoring the fishery:
- A grant of $250,000 to further test and develop vessel monitoring systems for lobster vessels. According to the Maine Department of Research, the funds will purchase 20 monitoring devices, cover staff verifying data generated by the trackers and fund integration of monitoring data with the new DMR harvester reporting application currently being created.
- A grant of $600,000 to meet the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) requirement to have 100 percent lobster harvest reporting in place by January 2024. The DMR plans to use the funds to support yearly maintenance on a new harvester reporting application, and to hire more staff.
There are approximately 6,000 harvesters who will be required to report daily trip-level information. The DMR’s goal is to have full reporting in place a year prior to the ASFMC deadline but “that date is dependent on securing additional funds needed to fully implement,” DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher noted in his November newsletter.