Maine Panel Votes Against Fishing Pact with Tribes

May 13, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine legislative committee is recommending that the state not approve an American Indian tribal group's call for shared management of commercial fish species.

Representatives for the Passamaquoddy tribe say their bill would allow state regulators to enter into a "memorandum of agreement'' about marine resources with four tribes. The Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources voted 8-2 against passage of the bill on Wednesday. Some members of the committee say a bill authorizing agreement between the tribes and state regulators isn't necessary.

State Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher also opposes the proposal. State fishery regulators and the tribes sometimes conflict about rules governing elver fishing. Last week regulators issued emergency restrictions on certain kinds of elver fishing gear because of state concerns of overfishing by Passamaquoddy tribe members.