Linda Mercer

Director, Bureau of Marine & Searun Science, Maine Department of Marine Resources

The Department of Marine Resources is the state agency that is charged with managing the marine resources of the state. Our mission is to conserve and develop our marine resources. And we have a research branch of the department, which is the Bureau of Resource Management, and that's the bureau that I am in charge of. So our mission is to gather fisheries information so that we can know what the stocks are doing and know what rules and laws are needed to help manage those fisheries. So we are informing the management process by the work we do.

Partnerships are really important because we all bring different expertise to the table. There are so many needs out there that certainly one agency can't begin to address all of them. It's a small state but we have some really important and big fisheries and some big fisheries problems.

I think that the skills that all of the different partners around the state, but particularly GMRI, bring with new researchers, new research programs and the community outreach that they do, just mesh really well with some of the more focused monitoring work that DMR does.

Putting it all together helps to put together a better picture of what's happening with the fisheries, what's happening with the industry, and then finding ways to solve problems to manage our fisheries better.