Federal Fisheries Regulators to Stay out of Maine Elvers Dispute
Federal fisheries regulators say they have no plans to intervene in the dispute between the state of Maine and the Passamaquoddy tribe over the glass eel harvest. An official with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says the agency has been monitoring the situation. The dispute centers around the number of licenses issued to catch the lucrative eels, known as elvers. State law allows the tribe to issue 200 eel licenses, which sell for up to $2,000 a pound. But tribal leaders issued more than 500 licenses, claiming the state has no authority over the tribe on fishing matters. A tribal spokesman tells The Portland Press Herald, the sides are working hard on a peaceful solution. State law enforcement officers tried to check tribal licenses last weekend, creating a tense situation.