The goal of CEI's Fisheries and Working Waterfront Programs is to foster the sustainable development of Maine's fisheries and fishing communities by making investments, initiating projects, supporting policies and assisting marine-related enterprises that:
- Generate & maintain quality jobs
- Strengthen shoreside marine infrastructure
- Improve management of marine resources
- Reuse and/or recycle waste streams and reduce energy consumption
- Add value to marine resources
For centuries, the working waterfront has been part and parcel of Maine's coastal communities. And yet today along the 5,300 miles of Maine's shorefront, you'll find only 25 miles still in service to our traditional fishing and marine industries. These 25 miles support 10,300 harvesters and 26,000 fishing-related jobs which generate $740 million income EACH year.
Protecting the working waterfront is smart economic development as many vibrant components of our coastal communities are in danger of disappearing forever. Growing oceanside property values, property taxes, equipment, bait and fuel costs, as well as diminishing natural resources, make it more and more difficult every year for our marine business. Maine's commercial connection to the sea is a sound reason for communities to unite. Bankers and borrowers, local officials and business owners can attest to the impact of capital that the marine industries channel through to the local economy. Access to the water, well-maintained piers and equipment, wisely-managed marine resources, and adequately dredged berths are the keys to continuing that economic tide.
CEI is creating change in this arena from our 3E perspective. CEI gives loans and business assistance to commercial fisherman and other marine-related businesses: economy
. Borrowers of our loan funds are encouraged to participate in a research or management project that involves a marine resource or protecting public health: environment
. Our policy work is bringing to the forefront the issues that marine businesses face, and new jobs are being added while the old ones are retained: equity.
To date, CEI has made progress in all three categories.
- 208 loans
- $14.3 million lent and an additional $47 million leveraged
- Portfolio Composition: 49% harvesters, 12% processors, 8% shore side suppliers, 9% wholesale, 9% infrastructure, 14% new marine-related and aquaculture
- Created over 1,550 full-time jobs, and 265 part-time jobs
- Involved 85 fishing men and women engaged in research
- Access secured for 165 boats in a working waterfront
- 60 FISHTAG projects (Marine Science or Public Health Related research and management
- 6 shoreside environmental projects
- Promoted environmental stewardship within the fishing industry