Shared strength

Restoring ecological diversity and ensuring sustainability of eastern Gulf of Maine fisheries and communities calls on the shared strengths of an array of deeply committed organizations, agencies and individuals. We are proud to partner with many colleagues in Maine and beyond and will highlight here four of our formal alliances: Eastern Maine Coastal Current Collaborative, Downeast Fisheries Partnership, Community Fisheries Network and Fish Locally Collaborative.

Our partnership with nine regional high schools in the acclaimed Eastern Maine Skippers Program is featured in the Collaborative Education section of this web site.


Eastern Maine Coastal Current Collaborative

The Eastern Maine Coastal Current Collaborative (EM3C) is a project between Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, NOAA Fisheries, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources to develop a research framework that supports ecosystem-based fisheries management in the Eastern Maine Coastal Current and its associated watersheds. An ecosystem-based approach provides a comprehensive and collaborative mechanism with the goal of improving the resiliency of coastal communities and the sustainability of fisheries. The ecosystem perspective recognizes that not only biological but economic and social interactions need to be considered to better understand the changes Eastern Maine may see over the coming decades. The partners agreed to a five-year cooperative research and development project, solidifying the collaboration through 2022. Learn more!


The Maine Department of Marine Resources was established to conserve and develop marine and estuarine resources; to conduct and sponsor scientific research; to promote and develop the Maine coastal fishing industries; to advise and cooperate with local, state, and federal officials concerning activities in coastal waters; and to implement, administer, and enforce the laws and regulations necessary for these enumerated purposes.



An agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the stewardship of the nation’s ocean resources and their habitat. They provide vital services for the nation: productive and sustainable fisheries, safe sources of seafood, the recovery and conservation of protected resources, and healthy ecosystems – all backed by sound science and an ecosystem-based approach to management.


Downeast Fisheries Partnership

Recognizing the ecological interdependence of coastal waters, estuaries, rivers, and their watersheds, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Manomet, and the Downeast Salmon Federation joined forces in 2012 in an unprecedented effort to restore one of the world’s great marine and freshwater ecosystems.

Downeast Fisheries Partnership has since grown to nine member organizations and continues to extend coordinated efforts by nonprofits, businesses and government so that communities in Downeast Maine can sustain themselves fishing forever. To achieve this vision, the Partnership’s goals are to:

  • Encourage and support habitat restoration projects, such as dam removal on rivers and streams that will allow sea run fish populations to rebound.
  • Diversify the fishing economy beyond its dependence on lobster by better controlling when and where fishing occurs, so juvenile fish have an opportunity to grow and reproduce.
  • Create and advance stewardship and management programs in which fishermen are active partners with state and federal agencies.
  • Develop new, profitable markets for fisheries products that are flexible and can respond to changes in the ecosystem.
  • Document the outcomes and lessons learned so that the methods can be expanded to other regions.

The mission of Downeast Salmon Federation is to conserve wild Atlantic salmon and its habitat, restore a viable sports fishery and protect other important river, scenic, recreational and ecological resources in eastern Maine.

For over forty years, Manomet has worked to use science as a common currency to combine the interests of diverse stakeholders for creating a more sustainable world.

College of the Atlantic enriches the liberal arts tradition through a distinctive educational philosophy, human ecology, which integrates knowledge from all academic disciplines and from personal experiences to investigate—and ultimately improve—the relationships between human beings and our social and natural communities.

Maine Farmland Trust protects farmland, supports farmers, and advances the future of farming.

The Sunrise County Economic Council creates jobs and wealth in Washington County, Maine by working with a consortium of community-minded businesses, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and citizens.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust conserves and stewards Maine’s coastal lands and islands for their renowned scenic beauty, ecological value, outdoor recreational opportunities, and contribution to community well-being. MCHT provides statewide conservation leadership through its work with land trusts, coastal communities and other partners.

Washington County Council of Governments is a municipal membership organization that delivers a wide range of customized planning, advisory and resources development services to help communities build the future of Washington County, Maine.

Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education (DEI) works to improve the quality of life for the people of downeast and coastal Maine through applied marine research, technology transfer, and public marine resource education.


Fish Locally Collaborative

Fish Locally Collaborative (FLC) is a marine-based collaborative comprised of nonprofits, fishermen, seafood buyers, health care institutions, a variety of other organizations, and individual members on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts whose mission is the recovery and maintenance of marine biodiversity through community-based fisheries. The FLC is spearheaded by Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) and works to transform markets for seafood, with programs including community supported fisheries, fish to school programs, and partnering with institutional buyers. The FLC also advocates with community-based fishermen in New England and beyond to advocate for fleet diversity protections including coastal policies to ensure a healthy and abundance resource, as well as caps on the accumulation of fishing quota. Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries collaborates with NAMA on advocacy in the New England Fishery Management Council.


Community Fisheries Network

Community Fisheries Network (CFN) is a group of community-based fishing organizations from across the United States developing solutions to common challenges. In 2009, bi-coastal nonprofits Ecotrust, based in Portland, Oregon, and the Island Institute, based in Rockland, Maine developed the CFN concept for fishermen to reach out beyond their own harbors to other community-based fishing ports around the country. Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries is aligned with CFN’s triple bottom line goal of social, economic, and environmental sustainability and support for conservation that leads to long-term viability of the ecosystems from which we derive our livelihoods. CFN also works to make sure fishing communities and the ocean resources they depend on can thrive, and that fishing families can provide sustainable, locally caught seafood across the country.