Fisheries and Tourism
Fact Sheets - Legal Research - Workshops
Maine fishermen and women have faced a variety of challenges in recent years, including shrinking opportunities in groundfishing, scallops, urchins, and shrimp fisheries. The lobster industry has also been hit hard by low dockside prices and increasing costs. As a result of these and other issues, a growing number of harvesters are looking to tourism as a way to diversify and become financially stable, and to remain working on the water. Tours for lobstering, whale- and bird-watching, coastal fishing, and trips to shellfish farms have become more commonplace, as fishermen and aquaculture farmers begin to use their knowledge, their vessels, and fisheries infrastructure as unique assets in the tourist trade.
However, obstacles to this diversification do exist, especially concerning licensing, liability and safety, business structure, and contracting with partners.
The fisheries tourism fact sheet series provides basic information to help fishermen and aquaculture farmers get started in tourism. Each fact sheet is 1-2 pages.
Complete fact sheet series
Legal Research Report
In 2011, Maine Sea Grant received funds from the National Sea Grant Law Center to research the legal barriers faced by fishermen and aquaculturists as they consider engaging in the tourism industry. The legalities regarding those barriers were researched by a Sea Grant fellow and law student in the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University, in partnership with Rhode Island Sea Grant. Much of the legal framework outlined in the fact sheet series draws from the final report resulting from this research.
“How Else Can Fishermen Make A Buck: Spin-Off Businesses from Ideas to Implementation”
Maine Fishermen’s Forum, Rockport, Maine, March 2, 2013, 9 a.m. to noon.
Co-hosted by Maine Sea Grant, Lobster Institute and Island Institute.
You’ve got the boat, you’ve got the catch, and you’ve got the drive, so how else can you make a buck? Fishermen are increasingly looking for ways to add to their income. What are the options? Taking paying tourists aboard? Add value to the catch? Chartering services for special trips or collaborative research? Each of these spin-off enterprises offers fishermen a chance to add income, but each also has legal and logistical hurdles. We’ll start this double session with a panel exploring the advantages of business diversification and hear stories from fishermen who have already found ways to diversify their income. You’ll then meet key resource people who can help you navigate the complexities of licensing/permitting, insurance/liability, business models, contracting, and marketing. During the second half, resource people will be stationed around the room and you can circulate and ask questions specific to your situation.
Stay tuned for more workshops!
Maine Sea Grant and the Lobster Institute produced these resources with funding from the National Sea Grant Law Center. The Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University/Rhode Island Sea Grant provided legal research. Project advisors in the fishing and tourism industries, as well as relevant state agencies, reviewed fact sheets for accuracy and serve as workshop resource people.