National Fisherman


ELLSWORTH — With harvesters pocketing as much as $2,600 for a pound of elvers last spring, fishing for the tiny, transparent juvenile eels was almost like panning for gold in a stream full of nuggets. But the gold rush may soon be over.

On Friday, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) announced that it would soon release a draft management plan that is likely to have a profound effect on the fishery for American eels, including elvers. In the worst case, the plan could even bring the commercial fishery to a halt.

Within the next two or three weeks, ASMFC plans to publish a "Draft Addendum III" to its Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American eels. Among other measures up for consideration, the draft will include an option to establish an overall, annual landings quota for elvers — also know as glass eels — or to impose a moratorium on their harvest.

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Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

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The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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