Sustainable Fisheries

Sustainable Fisheries/Aquaculture Program

Fisheries Project History

CEI’s involvement in Maine’s fisheries, aquaculture, and marine trades sectors spans our 36 year history.  In 1977 when the reauthorization of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act established a 200-mile fishery conservation zone with Regional Fishery Management Councils, CEI committed to  investment in and outreach to the industry.

Fisheries Project Goal

The goal of CEI’s Fisheries and Working Waterfront Programs is to foster the sustainable development of  fisheries, aquaculture and marine trades businesses and communities by making investments, initiating projects, supporting policies and assisting marine-related enterprises that:

  • Generate and maintain good quality jobs
  • Strengthen shoreside marine infrastructure
  • Improve management of sustainably harvested marine resources
  • Reuse and/or recycle waste streams and reduce energy consumption
  • Add value to marine resources
  • Shorten the seafood distribution chain and sell seafood with transparency and traceability

Commercial Fisheries/Aquaculture and Working Waterfront Revolving Loan Fund

CEI manages a Fisheries/Aquaculture/Working Waterfront Revolving Loan Fund capitalized with many private and public sources. We use the fund to provide competitive, fixed-rate financing with flexible repayment terms fashioned to the needs of qualifying commercial fishing, aquaculture and marine trade businesses. We offer flexible debt, lines of credit, equity and equity-like investments, and guarantees in amounts from $10,000 to $500,000. For large requests we can coordinate multiple sources of capital for the client.

Loan Fund Cumulative Impacts

By the first quarter of 2014 we have made 230 loans totaling $16.5 million that leveraged an additional $54 million of investments from partnering providers. The financing created over 1850 new full-time jobs and 270 part-time jobs.

Access to Free Business Counseling

We coordinate team-based business planning with the Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or the Women’s Business Center (WBC) which are housed in our facilities. Our Fisheries and Aquaculture sector specialists connect the clients with nearby business counselors for face to face confidential meetings. Loan applications accompanied by solid business plans have a better chance for approval.

To Apply for Financing

Fill out CEI’s general loan application. Mail the completed application to: CEI Lending Department, P.O. Box 268, 36 Water Street Wiscasset, Maine 04578. A confirmation of receipt and a timeline for loan consideration will be forthcoming.

Current Initiatives

Fisheries Project Staff are involved in a number of other Sector Initiatives that keep us engaged with the commercial fishing, aquaculture and marine trade businesses. Contact us about any of the initiatives listed below.

  • Maine’s Working Waterfront Access Protection Program—in partnership with the Maine Department of Marine Resources and the Land for Maine’s Future program we are actively preserving strategically significant commercial fishing properties along the Maine coast.
  • Maine Seafood Distribution Study—in partnership with CT based Wholesome Wave we are working to connect Maine seafood harvesters, processors and other businesses with “food hubs” across New England.
  • Building Financing Capacity for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation—in partnership with other CDFI’s from around the country we are delivering strategies for successful lending and equity investments in the nation’s commercial fisheries businesses which operate responsibly.

Past Initiatives

  • Nationwide research on Financial Tools to invest in Working Waterfronts—with multiple partners we have assembled an online resource to fund the preservation of working waterfronts
  • Aquaculture in Shared Waters—in partnership with Maine Sea Grant, the Maine Aquaculture Association and the Island Institute we offered training to fishermen for kelp, mussel and oyster farming start-up operations including the basics of entrepreneurial management.
  • Microloans to purchase efficient semi-pelagic trawl doors and fuel flow meters—in partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute we provide loans for the purchase of efficiency enhanced gear.
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance Program—a project run by the US Department of Agriculture, CEI staff business plan development and counseling services for hundreds of Maine lobstermen.

Contact our Fisheries and Aquaculture Specialists

Dick Clime
Working Waterfront Project Developer
P.O. Box 268, 36 Water Street
Wiscasset, Maine 04578
(207) 882-5191

Hugh Cowperthwaite
Fisheries Project Director
2 Portland Fish Pier, Suite 206
Portland Maine 04101-4633
(207) 535-2920