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Maine Department of Marine Resources
Maine Marine Licensing Online Renewal Service

SERVICE INFORMATION

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Home > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I be aware of while harvesting seaweed?
  2. What do I need to know about the new Pelagic and Anadromous fishing licenses?
  3. May I renew permits associated with my license ?
  4. What is the difference between commercial fishing single operator and commercial fishing crew licenses?
  5. If I hold a commercial fishing crew license is there a limit to the number of crew members I can take fishing with me?
  6. If I hold a commercial fishing crew license do I need to be aboard the boat?
  7. If I hold a commercial shrimp license do I have to indicate the boat I will be fishing from?
  8. How many marine worms can I harvest without a license?
  9. How many clams may I harvest without a commercial shellfish license?
  10. If I hold a state commercial shellfish license can I harvest clams in any area of the state?
  11. How many mussels can I harvest without a mussel license?
  12. Can I harvest seaweed without a license?
  13. Can I harvest mahogany quahogs without a license?

1. What should I be aware of while harvesting seaweed?

A DMR license authorizes the holder to harvest seaweed in compliance with Maine regulations governing cutting length and other conservation measures, from any area where seaweed may legally be taken. The holder of this license and any property owners must be aware that Maine’s common law (meaning state law developed through court decisions) is not clear as to whether seaweed located in the intertidal zone (defined as the shores, flats or other land between the high and low water mark) is owned by the public generally or by the upland property owner. Therefore, since ownership of the seaweed in the intertidal zone is an unsettled question that only Maine courts can definitively answer, the State of Maine takes no position on (1) whether the public may harvest seaweed from those areas without interfering with the private property rights of the upland owner or (2) whether the upland property owners may prohibit the public harvest of seaweed in those areas.


2. What do I need to know about the new Pelagic and Anadromous fishing licenses?

The State Legislature passed a new law that created the Commercial Pelagic and Anadromous Fishing License. Any harvester commercially fishing for the following species must purchase this license: Atlantic herring, Atlantic menhaden (pogies), Whiting (silver hake), Spiny dogfish, River herring (alewife and blueback herring also known as kayaks or sawbellies), Atlantic mackerel, Squid, Butterfish, Scup, Black Sea Bass, Smelt, and/or Shad. This licensing requirement does not apply to a person who fishes for, takes, possesses or transports any pelagic or anadromous fish that have been taken by speargun, harpoon, minnow trap, hand dip net or hook and line and are only for personal use. These species were previously harvested under the Commercial Fishing License. The Commercial Pelagic and Anadromous Fishing License becomes effective January 1, 2011. Commercial Fishing licenses will no longer require the bait gillnet, herring, whiting or dogfish endorsements/permits. Fishing for these species falls under the new Commercial Pelagic Fishing license. Commercial Pelagic Fishing license holders who catch or intend to catch, in a given week, 2000 pounds or more of Atlantic herring must hold the IVR Herring Permit and this permit must be listed on their pelagic fishing license. Landings need to be reported on a weekly basis via telephone. All others fishing for herring are not required to hold the IVR Herring Permit. Please contact Rob Watts at 207-633-9412 for more information on IVR reporting. Commercial Pelagic Fishing license holders fishing for whiting must hold the whiting endorsement. This endorsement needs to be listed on the pelagic fishing license. It will be issued to only those holding a federal permit. Fishing nets must be inspected before obtaining the endorsement. Please contact Marine Patrol at 207-633-9595 or 207-667-3373 for an appointment.


3. May I renew permits associated with my license ?

Only those permits that were granted on a previous year's license may be renewed. These permits are carried forward from year to year. You may not add or drop permits using the online renewal service. If you must add or drop a permit from your license, you must do so using the paper license renewal form by mail or in person at our Hallowell office.


4. What is the difference between commercial fishing single operator and commercial fishing crew licenses?

The single operator covers the licensed activity for the license holder only. The crew license covers the licensed activity for the license holder as well as all crew members.


5. If I hold a commercial fishing crew license is there a limit to the number of crew members I can take fishing with me?

No.


6. If I hold a commercial fishing crew license do I need to be aboard the boat?

No, as long as the license is on the boat the license holder is not required to be present.


7. If I hold a commercial shrimp license do I have to indicate the boat I will be fishing from?

Yes, you must declare the vessel and may not change during the license year unless the vessel is sold and replaced, has been damaged and will be under repair for not less than one month or has been destroyed or lost.


8. How many marine worms can I harvest without a license?

You can harvest up to 125 bloodworms or sand worms a day for your own personal use without a marine worm digging license.


9. How many clams may I harvest without a commercial shellfish license?

You can take up to one peck of shell stock a day for your own personal use without a state commercial shellfish license, however, you must contact the town where you intend to harvest the clams to find out whether or not you need a town license.


10. If I hold a state commercial shellfish license can I harvest clams in any area of the state?

You must contact each town where you intend to harvest clams. Most towns now require that you hold a town license in addition to your state license.


11. How many mussels can I harvest without a mussel license?

You can take up to two bushels of shell mussels for personal use without a mussel license.


12. Can I harvest seaweed without a license?

Anyone can harvest up to 50 pounds of seaweed a day for noncommercial purposes without a seaweed license. Anyone harvesting seaweed that has detached naturally and is dead does not need a license.


13. Can I harvest mahogany quahogs without a license?

You may take up to 3 bushels of mahogany quahogs for personal use in one day without a license.


 

Questions about this Service? Contact DMR at: (207) 624-6550 or Email: dmr.licensing@maine.gov