PORTLAND, Maine — Federal regulators balked Thursday at a chance to set a new quota for Maine’s lucrative baby eel fishery.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Eel Management Board met in Alexandria, Virginia, to vote on recommendations for the fishery, which has grown in volume and value in recent years, but deadlocked without reaching a decision. Federal officials have said the recommendation could range from keeping the status quo of a nearly 6-ton quota to closing the fishery.
In addition to a new quota, the board is also considering enacting harvest allowances for aquaculture purposes. The board will revisit the issue with a potential final vote in late October, a spokeswoman said.
The fisheries commission said in a statement that American eel populations in U.S. waters are depleted because of a combination of overfishing, habitat loss, changes in predation, environmental changes, contaminants and disease.
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National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.