The Northeast Coastal Communities Sector is the only owner-operator, primarily hook-based sector in New England. The organization began as a partnership between Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries and the Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes County Fishermen’s Association in 2010 in response to the regional shift to quota-based management, and opportunities that our organizations saw to bring together the remaining groundfish permits in our respective regions under one roof. Our organization is a 501(C)(5) nonprofit corporation, and includes 25 member fishermen from Maine and Massachusetts.
The Northeast Coastal Communities Sector is one of 19 in New England to receive an annual allocation of groundfish quota for all managed stocks, including Gulf of Maine cod, haddock, hake, and flounders. The New England Fishery Management Council and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) created sectors as a way to ensure that the commercial groundfish industry complies with Congressionally-mandated annual catch limits. Each year the Council and NMFS set region-wide catch limits, and all New England sector members are allocated a percentage of this for the fishing year, which they can either catch or trade to other fishermen.
The Northeast Coastal Communities Sector provides opportunities for young, new entrant fishermen through the New England Fisheries Access Network started by Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries.