Maine Baby Eel Industry had one of the most successful seasons | Maine News
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s baby eel fishing industry is wrapping up one of the most successful seasons in its history.
Maine is the only state in the country with a significant fishery for baby eels, also known as elvers. They are sold to Asian aquaculture companies who farm them to maturity for use as food.
Fishermen have nearly exhausted the season’s quota of about 9,300 pounds of eels, state regulators said. The eels were worth nearly $20 million at the docks, with a price per pound of $2,162, regulators said Monday.
The price per pound was the third highest in state history and the total value was at least the fifth highest, according to state records.
The season also represented a rebound from 2020, when prices fell to $525 a pound due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry members said the re-emergence of global trade has helped the industry grow in value. Last year’s totals were much improved from 2020.
Glass eels are commonly used in sushi. Some return to the United States for use in Japanese restaurants.
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