The Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) is an amendment to the MSA (16 U.S.C. § 1801-1882). The Sustainable Fisheries Act includes provisions requiring science, management, and conservation action be taken by the National Marine Fisheries Service (Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NOAA Fisheries 2009).
Submerged Lands Act
Requires a Granted states title to the natural resources (oil, gas, and all other minerals) located within three miles of their coastline
USC Title 43 § 1301-1315
Coastal Zone Management Act
Provided states with federal assistance for those who develop and maintain a comprehensive management plan for their coastal jurisdiction or a Coastal Zone Management Plan as reviewed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
USC Title 16 § 1451-1456
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact
Established the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in recognition that fish do not adhere to political boundaries, and therefore no state by itself can effectively protect the interests of its citizens. The Commission is made up of 15 states, each represented by 3 members. The Commission participates in five main policy issues: interstate fisheries management, research and statistics, habitat conservation, sport fish restoration, and law enforcement.
USC Title 12 § 4601-4656
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act
Enacted to ensure that the Atlantic coastal states are compliant with the conservation measures approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Provides assistance to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in order to support and encourage the development, implementation, and enforcement of effective interstate conservation and management of Atlantic Coastal resources.
USC Title 16 § 5101-5108
Fishery Conservation and Management Act - Magnuson-Stevens Act
Granted federal authority for fisheries management to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Eight regional fishery management councils were established to implement regional fishery management plans.
USC Title 16 § 1801-1884
Sustainable Fisheries Act
Includes provisions requiring science, management, and conservation action be taken by the National Marine Fisheries Service
USC Title 16 § 1801-1882
Mandatory Shoreline Zoning Act (1971)
The State of Maine holds state-owned submerged lands (lands below mean low-tide line out to 3-mile limit) in trust for the benefit of the people of Maine (SPO and DMR 2007). In accordance with this common law, the State manages these lands and the natural resources in the public interest. The uses and interests recognized by the Public Trust Doctrine include commerce, fishing, navigation, recreation, and conservation. The doctrine establishes theresponsibility of the state to manage these public trust assets to preserve and continuously assure the public’s ability to fully use and enjoy public trust lands, waters, and resources for certain public uses (CSO 1997).
Mandatory Shoreline Zoning Act
Requires all municipalities to create zoning ordinances for areas within 250 feet of the high water line of any body of water, river, wetland, and coastline. The state holds the right to develop a zoning plan for municipalities not in compliance.
MRS Title 38 Chapter 3 § 439-449
Lobster Managment Zones and Advisory Council
Seven lobster managment zones were created by the Commissioner of Marine Resources to facilitate local or regional management of lobster fishery efforts. Each zone is represented on the Council. The Council advises the commissioner on activities of the department that relate to the lobster industry.
MRS Title 12 Chapter 619 § 6446-6477
Sea Urchin Zone Council
Established a Sea Urchin Zone Council, and two Sea Urchin Management Zones.
MRS Title 12 Chapter 623 § 6749
Scallop Advisory Council
The Scallop Advisory Council consists of 13 members acting as advisors to the Commissioner of DMR on issues related to seasons, closings, size restrictions, and daily limits.
MRS Title 12 Chapter 623 § 6729
Maine Wind Energy Act
Established policy that finds wind energy to be in the best interest of the state thereby making it a priority for state agencies to encourage wind development.
MRS Title 35-A, Chapter 34 § 3404(2)(B)
Public Trust Doctrine
The State of Maine holds state-owned submerged lands (lands below mean low-tide line out to 3-mile limit) in trust for the benefit of the people of Maine (SPO and DMR 2007). In accordance with this common law, the State manages these lands and the natural resources in the public interest.
The sustainability of Maine’s coastal and marine resources depends upon successful management. This responsibility falls on many different federal, state, and local agencies along the coast and in the Gulf of Maine. There are also additional regional management partnerships which cross political boundaries and incorporate non-government stakeholders into the management process. There are also non-government stakeholders who are affected by the condition of coastal and marine resources yet do not have an active role in their management.
Table 1.3 Spatial overlap analysis. The number of overlapping management zones in the Gulf of Maine by area (square miles) and percent of total area within Maine state waters and within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Results based off of our GIS spatial overlap calculation in Figure 1.12.
Number of Overlapping Zones
Area (Square Miles)
Percent of Total Area
Area (Square Miles)
Percent of Total Area
Offshore Wind Energy
In this section, we evaluated the potential impact of the current regulatory system on the future development of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine.