Decision due on whether to increase harvest of baby eels
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s baby eel fishery has been through ups and downs in recent years, and regulators might be about to let fishermen catch a lot more of the valuable fish.
Baby eels, called elvers, can be worth more than $2,000 per pound because they are used by Asian aquaculture companies and worldwide supplies are low. Maine is the only state in the U.S. with a significant fishery for them.
Fishermen in Maine are allowed to harvest a total of 9,688 pounds of the elvers per year. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will consider increasing that by about 20 percent on Wednesday.
The elver fishery is coming off a contentious year. Authorities shut down the fishery early because of concerns about illegal sales. The price this year was higher than typical.