Maine considering plan to license elver exporters to get tighter grip on baby eel fishery

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PORTLAND, Maine — Maine fisheries regulators say the state should license elver exporters as part of the state's effort to tighten oversight of the fishery.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is preparing legislation to require individuals who ship baby eels overseas to buy a $5,000 exporter's license. The state already licenses elver fishermen and dealers. Maine elver fishermen harvested nearly 9,700 pounds of the eels last year at an estimated value of $8.4 million.

The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/15LglA6 ) says exporters must report exports to federal agencies. Maine regulators' plan would require them to also use the same swipe card system fishermen and dealers in the state use.

Elvers are shipped to aquaculture operations in Asia where they can be raised and sold as food.


Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

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