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Department of Marine Resources

 Record Group
Identifier: US-MeSA-13

Scope and Contents

The Maine State Archives (MSA) collects and holds the permanent historical records of the Maine State Government. MSA was created in 1965. By 1971, MSA housed the historical records that had been held by the Secretary of State, Legislature, Courts and Executive Departments. This included records from defunct agencies.

With the implementation of a records management system, groups of records were identified as having permanent historical value and were sent to the Archives after a designated period of time. These included Commissioner/Executive correspondence, meeting minutes from Boards and Commissions, as well as department-specific records.


  • 1892 -


Biographical / Historical

PURPOSE: The Department of Marine Resources was established to conserve and develop marine and estuarine resources of the State of Maine by conducting and sponsoring scientific research, promoting and developing the Maine commercial fishing industry, administering and enforcing marine laws and regulations, and by advising agencies of government concerned with development or activity in coastal waters.

The Department has the authority to enter into reciprocal enforcement agreements with other states, interstate regional authorities and the federal government; to cooperate, consult and advise with other appropriate state agencies on all interrelated matters involving the coast and its marine resources; to assist the industry in the promotion and marketing of its products; to close contaminated shores, waters and flats; to make regulations to assure the conservation of renewable marine resources in any coastal waters or flats of the State; and to hold hearings and to publish notices as may be required by law.

ORGANIZATION: The Department of Marine Resources originated in 1867 with the establishment of Commissioners of Fisheries. In 1895, the Commissioners were renamed Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Game and a new Commissioner of Sea and Shore Fisheries was authorized, representing the first clear distinction between inland and coastal natural resources. In 1917, the Commissioner was replaced by a Commission of Sea and Shore Fisheries, and in 1931, the Commission became the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries and the post of Commissioner was reestablished. Both the Advisory Council of the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries and The Atlantic Sea Run Salmon Commission were created in 1947. In State Government reorganization legislation of 1973, the 106th Legislature established the Department of Marine Resources, along with an expanded Marine Resources Advisory Council. Additional duties and responsibilities were assigned to the agency and its Council, along with those which previously were the responsibility of the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries and its Advisory Council.

The Department currently consists of four Bureaus, including the Bureau of Policy and Management, the Bureau of Marine Science, the Bureau of Public Health, the Bureau of Marine Patrol and the Division of Aquaculture. Advisory councils are established by statute for Lobster, Scallop, Sea Urchin, Shellfish and Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat, as well as Commercial Fishing Safety and Aquaculture. In addition, seven lobster policy management councils (Zones) are established with authority to hold referenda regarding lobster fishing regulations.

Maine State Government Annual Report 2013-2014


411.75 Linear Feet (525 containers)

Language of Materials


State Agency Schedules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Maine State Archives Repository

84 State House Station
Augusta Maine 04333