Tag Archives: Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association

As eels grow in value, US government clamps down on poaching

Law enforcement authorities have launched a crackdown on unlicensed eel fishermen and illicit sales along the East Coast.,, In Maine, more than 400 licensed fishermen make their living fishing for elvers in rivers such as the Penobscot in Brewer and the Passagassawakeag in Belfast every spring. They say law enforcement is vital to protecting the eels and the volatile industry. Randy Bushey, of Steuben, has been fishing for elvers since 1993. He said he saw his income balloon from as little as $5,000 per year in the 1990s to more than $350,000 in 2012. He said tighter quotas mean he’s earning less these days, and in the most recent season he made about $57,000. “I’ve seen the best, and I’ve seen the worst,” Steuben said. “I want to see it preserved. I want to see it straightened out.” click here to read the story 08:16

Decision Soon on Listing Eels Under Endangered Species Act

An environmental advocacy group wants the federal government to list the American eel as threatened, giving the fish protections that would greatly limit fishermen’s ability to pursue and catch them. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision about protecting the eels will likely come toward the end of September, said Steven Shepard, a spokesman for the agency. Only Maine and South Carolina fishermen harvest elvers, and South Carolina’s fishery is much smaller. Several other states have fisheries for older eels, including Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Darrell Young, who co-directs the Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association and has fished for elvers for more than 20 years, said,,, Read the rest here 16:20

Asian demand, low supply set record price on Maine baby eels

Prices for tiny glass eels caught in river inlets along the Maine coast soared to record levels this year because a slow season resulted in reduced catch, fishermen and dealers say. The baby eels called elvers sold for $2,500 or more per pound at times this season due to low supply, fishermen and dealers say, beating the old record of $1,868.73 in 2012. This year’s average price, which the state has not yet calculated, seems sure to dwarf last year’s and possibly eclipse 2012, fishermen said. Read the rest here 12:50

Maine elver fishing quota may be slightly reduced – Department of Marine Resources is advocating for status quo

ASMFC SidebarMaine elver fishermen will oppose the quota cut at the meeting, said Jeffrey Pierce, director of the Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association. “They can’t keep cutting it every year. Our markets need to know there is stability they can count on,” Pierce said. Read the rest here 06:58

Panel endorses changes to tribal elver bill, deal ‘pretty much gone,’ says tribe

AUGUSTA, Maine — Changes that a legislative panel made Wednesday to a tentative agreement, state fisheries officials had made with the Passamaquoddy Tribe over elver fishing mean that the agreement is “pretty much gone,” according to a tribal official. Read [email protected]  09:15

Maine says it must curtail the elver harvest because of declining population, but fishermen say their livelihood is being interfered with.

Industry officials supported quotas based on historical catch during the first public hearing hosted by state regulators this week in Augusta. Another hearing will be held Jan. 2 in Brewer. “We’re being led down the road by bad science. It’s a data-poor species, so the scientists would rather err on the side of caution. That’s because they get paid and we don’t. They get a check every week. We only get paid if we catch something,” said Jeffrey Pierce, executive director of the Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association. [email protected]  17:28

Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association founded – Elver fishermen organize to preserve the fishery

ELLSWORTH — More than 40 elver fishermen gathered at the Ellsworth Elks Club on Tuesday afternoon voted to form a new association to lobby on their behalf before federal fisheries regulators. continue reading