Maine shellfish are one of two fisheries (along with alewives) that are locally managed in Maine. Municipalities in Maine have the opportunity to form local shellfish committees and manage their flats using local knowledge to sustain a local resource. Although the state of Maine’s Department of Marine Resources oversees this effort, municipalities need assistance organizing and implementing this form of collaborative management.
No fish are as ever present in our communities as clams are. They provide a fishery with a low bar for entry where all you need is ambition, a license from your town, and a clam hoe to participate.
With thousands of miles of coastline and mudflats that are all unique, it makes sense that local management is used in shellfish management.
For all of this to work, local managers must work alongside the state of Maine with trust, knowledge, and cooperation. MCCF works with towns in Downeast Maine and partners throughout the state to provide resources to towns, and to create policies that support this system of collaborative management.