To request quota, or for more information, please contact Aaron Dority at (207) 367-2708.
The Northeast Multispecies fishery is managed under a system called “sectors.” Introduced by the US Government in 2010, sector management was created as an alternative to the former Days At Sea (DAS) system. Under DAS, fishermen are alloted a certain amount of days that they are able to fish. A sector – not to be confused with a zone or area – is a group of fishermen who share common goals, challenges, and values, and work together to harvest their Annual Catch Entitlement, or ACE. Nineteen sectors of fishermen now exist in the industry, including one formed by Penobscot East – The Northeast Coastal Communities Sector.
So, instead of fishing days, fishermen have an allocated amount of fish that they’re able catch, a measure intended to help recover fish stocks that are still in poor shape. Since fishermen were allocated catch entitlements based on a specific qualifying period, some did not recieve much quota, and some recieved none at all. Many fishermen in eastern Maine fall in this category because during those qualifying years, it was more profitable to target other species.
That being said, they can lease ACE from other fishermen if they have any that will be unused. Fishermen can also lease additional ACE from Permit Banks. Permit Banks, like the Maine State Permit bank, and Penobscot East’s Permit Bank, were established to help small scale fishermen who need additional ACE to build a more profitable business. We believe that Permit Banks also create the most affordable mechanism for new entry into the fishery. Young and small scale fishermen do not likely have the capitol to purchase permits that have quota associated with them, which can cost upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars.