Governor Janet T. Mills (D), the first woman governor of Maine, announced today that her Administration is taking action to deliver relief for Maine’s commercial fishermen and aquaculturists.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) will use $8.3 million in Federal funding to reimburse resident commerical fishermen, dealers, processors and aquaculturists for the cost of their 2022 licenses, as well as addtional fees associated with licenses such as trap tag fees for lobster license holders. The Department will also waive lease fees for active commercial leases for the 2022 lease year through a separate process.
The first round of payments, which amount of $4.2 million, will be mailed by the end of this month and license holders who purchased their license between November 15, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Reimbursements for licenses purchased during each of the remaining quarters of 2022 will be mailed separately according to a press release issued by the Governor’s office this morning.
Examples of licenses that are eligible for reimbursement include but are not limited to: a Class !! lobster license with 800 tags costs ($,1,203), a scallop dragger license ($243), a Zone 2 urbhin dragger license ($312) or an elver license with two pieces of gear and crew ($498).
“Maine’s commercial fishing and seafood industry is a crucial cornerstone of our economy and they are facing unprecedented increases in costs,” said Governor Mills. “This puts money back in the pockets of Maine’s fishermen, aquaculturists and dealers to help them offset growing business expenses, hopefully providing a small measure of relief for them.”