Fisheries Monitoring & Assessment
Photo by Judy Angsten
The Biological Monitoring and Assessment Division is responsible for the collection of information and long-term monitoring programs on commercially important marine resources and their fisheries.
Landings data are collected for all Maine commercial marine fisheries.
Detailed catch, effort, and biological data are collected from fishermen along the entire coast of Maine for assessment and management of the American lobster, green sea urchin, sea scallops and Atlantic herring. Samples are processed for length, weight, sex, state of maturity, gonad weight, and age composition. Data are collected for other species including quahogs, crabs, northern shrimp, and sea cucumbers.
Division staff also monitor environmental variables, and have a record of sea temperatures in Boothbay Harbor dating back to 1905.
The Maine/New Hampshire inshore trawl survey is a comprehensive survey of our coastal resources conducted every spring and fall. Other fishery-independent surveys assess juvenile lobsters, northern shrimp, and sea urchins.
The division also monitors Maine's marine recreational fisheries.
Data from these studies are used in fishery stock assessments and for fishery management decisions. Scientists participate extensively with other state and federal scientists in interstate and federal stock assessments, technical committees, and plan development teams in order to provide scientific information for fishery managers.