PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Preliminary state data says Maine’s elver catch this year fell by more than 40 percent — failing to reach a quota instituted this year for the first time.
A spokesman for the state Department of Marine Resources says Maine fishermen caught about 10,100 pounds of elvers during the eight-week season, in which they faced a quota of 11,749 pounds.
Maine elver fishermen’s catch topping 18,000 pounds and $32 million in value for each of the past two years. The state, concerned about overfishing, instituted a quota this year for the first time. The baby eels are caught in rivers and sold overseas as seed stock for aquaculture companies in Asia.
Early estimates also show elver value dropping from more than $1,800 per pound to between $600 and $1,000 per pound.