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Gulf of Maine mussel dredge

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF

Category III
Estimated Number of Participants Unknown
Target Species Blue mussel
Applicable Take Reduction Plans N/A
Observer Coverage N/A
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured None documented

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

1Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

There have been no documented cases of marine mammal species/stock injured/killed by this gear 


Spatial/temporal distribution of effort:  Harvested commercially from Maine to Long Island.  In Maine, the best commercial mussel beds are found a few feet above and below mean low water between Casco Bay and Jonesport. Mussels can be harvested all year but most fishing is in the winter (DMR 2006). Fishermen cannot fish for mussels at night from April 1 to October 31 (DMRR 12.01).

Gear Description

“A mussel drag is a framed mouth with an attached bag. Across the bottom of the mouth is either a cutting bar or a chain sweep that loosens the mussels as the drag is pulled across the bottom. The maximum width of the dredge is 6.5 feet (two meters)”.


State regulations


Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (1989)
Original Number of Participants >50
Basis for Original Classification Observer logbook are not available and stranding data did not
indicate the fishery interacted with marine mammal species.
Past Names N/A
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A


Timeline of Changes

  • Estimated number of vessels/persons operating changed to “unknown”


Updated December 14, 2016