ELLSWORTH, Maine — After two years of runaway catches and explosive value, Maine's elver fishery fell substantially back toward Earth in 2014, according to state officials.
But despite a near 75 percent reduction in the value of the volatile fishery, elver fishermen in Maine still did pretty well last year, bringing in the third-most valuable annual elver harvest in the past two decades.
According to a statement released Thursday by the state Department of Marine Resources, licensed elver fishermen in Maine last year caught 9,690 pounds of the baby American eels and cumulatively earned $8,474,302 for the statewide haul.
The catch total is about 46 percent lower than the 18,076 pounds of elvers they caught in 2013, while the value is 74 percent lower than the nearly $33 million they earned in that same year, according to Department of Marine Resources statistics. The average price per pound that elver fishermen earned in 2014 — $875 — is nearly $1,000 less than the $1,822 per pound they earned in 2013.
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