Written by Jen Finn
In the coming weeks the Maine Department of Marine Resources will propose a method to more closely track elver landings for next year in an attempt to gain some control over the elver harvest.
Is this action enough?
Absolutely not. There remain fundamental questions that need to be addressed about this resource before a sustainable harvest can be achieved. But let’s look back to last year.
Last May, dozens of cars and trucks mysteriously appeared along the lower Penobscot River. Scores of nets lined the river below Veazie, and individuals with dip nets were common. The word was out: “The elvers have reached Bangor.” Scores of Maine’s elver fishermen from all over the state pulled their nets elsewhere and flocked to the shores of the Penobscot. After the season was over, reminders of their greed remained — ropes, lines and concrete blocks littered the shores of the Penobscot.
The people of Maine, the Legislature, DMR and National Marine Fisheries Service should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this pillage of a resource to continue. Little is known about eels and their populations.
For example, how many elvers are ascending our rivers, how many are being harvested, how many escape the gauntlet of nets, and how many are needed to maintain a viable adult population in each river?
Fisheries scientists don’t even know if the elvers ascending the Penobscot are the younger generation of adult eels from that river, or if they are a random group of elvers from adults up and down the Atlantic coast. What we do know is that it will be 20 or more years before the tiny elvers ascending the Penobscot will become adults and return to the ocean to spawn, long after those responsible for their management are gone.
Currently, nets are set a minimum distance apart, two out of seven days are closed to fishing, and we are told that most of the river — the center — is open for elver travel. Great, but is a tiny elver, the size of a toothpick, more likely to brave the surging spring current or hug the shore seeking nooks and eddies to make its way?
Read the full story at the Bangor Daily News>>
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
ANCHORAGE, AK – Coastal Villages Region Fund has reached an agreement with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to help fund its fisheries research activities in Western Alaska this summer. The fund will provide up to $92,152 to support the operation of weirs on the Goodnews Bay and Kanektok rivers.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced the appointment of 30 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NMFS to manage ocean fish stocks. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on Aug. 11.
Each year, the Secretary of Commerce appoints approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils. The secretary selects members from nominations submitted by the governors of fishing states, territories and tribal governments.