Elver fishermen split on derby-vs-quota proposals

BREWER, Maine — Several weeks after the issue was debated at a public meeting in Augusta, elver fishermen seem to remain split on whether the state should implement one statewide quota or hundreds of individual quotas to reduce Maine’s 2014 elver harvest.
 
Maine has been told by Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that it must reduce its 2014 statewide catch total of the juvenile American eels by 25 to 40 percent from the 18,253 total pounds that were caught statewide last spring. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been seeking feedback from elver fishermen to find out how to best achieve that reduction.
 
The extent to which the state’s several hundred licensed elver fishermen are split on the issue is difficult to ascertain, however. At a public meeting Tuesday afternoon in Brewer, Patrick Keliher, commissioner for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, took a straw poll of preferences among the nearly 120 people who were there.
 
There wasn’t a clear majority for any of them, though most of the discussion was focused on whether the reduction would be best achieved with one statewide quota or hundreds of individual ones.
 
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