Maine’s elver fishermen will have the same quota next spring when they fish for the valuable baby eels.
The fishermen are dealing with fluctuating volume and value in a fishery that exploded in interest early this decade. Elvers are sold to Asian aquaculture companies that raise them to maturity and use them as food, including sushi. Maine’s fishery for elvers is by far the biggest in the country, and the eels have become more valuable in recent years largely because of a sharp decline in their population across Europe in the 1990s.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which manages elver fishing, met earlier this month to discuss the fishery. There was no discussion of the possibility of changing the quota, which will remain in effect through 2017, when it will be re-evaluated, a spokeswoman said.
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